A jury comprising Zia Movahed, Mahasti Bahreini, Abdollah Kowsari, Hossein Masumi Hamedani, Musa Asvar, Omid Tabibzadeh and Abtin Golkar selected the winner of the sixth edition of the Abolhassan Najafi Award, which was announced at the Book City Institute last Tuesday.

Drawing on the stories Khoury gathered from refugee camps over the course of many years, the epic novel “Gate of the Sun: Bab Al-Shams” has been called the first magnum opus of the Palestinian saga.

In this story, Yunes, an aging Palestinian freedom fighter, lies in a coma. Keeping vigil at the old man’s bedside is his spiritual son, Khalil, who nurses Yunes, refusing to admit that his hero may never regain consciousness. Like a modern-day Scheherazade, Khalil relates the story of Palestinian exile while also recalling Yunes’s own extraordinary life and his love for his wife, whom he meets secretly over the years at Bab al-Shams, the Gate of the Sun.

An English translation by Humphrey Davies published in 2007 was selected as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year, one of Kansas City Star’s 100 Noteworthy Books of the Year, a Boldtype Notable Book of the Year, a Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the Year and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year.

The Abolhassan Najafi Award is a private Iranian literary prize that is given to a Persian translator of a novel or short story collection every year.

The award was established in the name of Abolhassan Najafi (1930-2016), a linguist and translator of French literature, by his family and the Book City Institute in 2016.

This year’s winner was awarded a plaque of honor and a cash prize of one billion rials (over $2,100 based on Iran’s free-market exchange rate: $1 = 470,000 rials).

Persian translations of American author Nathanael West’s 1939 novel “The Day of the Locust” by Farid Dabir-Moqaddam and American novelist Carson McCullers’s 1946 novel “The Member of the Wedding” by Hanieh Pedram were awarded honorable mentions and cash prizes of 500 million rials.

“The Day of the Locust” is about Hollywood and its corrupting touch and the American dream that turned into a sun-drenched California nightmare.

“The Member of the Wedding” is about a young girl’s fascination with her brother’s wedding.

Twelve-year-old Frankie is utterly, hopelessly bored with life until she hears about her older brother’s wedding. Bolstered by lively conversations with her family maid, Berenice, and her six-year-old cousin—not to mention her own unbridled imagination—Frankie takes on an overly active role in the wedding, hoping even to go, uninvited, on the honeymoon, so deep is her desire to be a member of something larger, more accepting than herself.

Source:Tehran Times