Shukri Al Mabkhout is the author of The Italian, which won the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2015. The Italian is set in 1987 and follows the eponymous ‘Italian’ Abdel Nasser, so named for his handsome face, as he deals with the difficult political transition of Tunisia. The novel was also awarded Tunisia’s 2015 Golden Comar Prize.
Yasir Suleiman, Chairman of the IPAF, said of Al Mabkhout’s writing: ‘Mabkhout is not only a great narrator; he is also a master of an elevated language that breathes life into every word he pens.’
Al Mabkhout was born in Tunis in 1962. He holds a state doctorate in Literature from the Arts College of Manouba, Tunisia, and is head of the Manouba University. He is on the editorial board of several refereed journals, including the magazine published by the Institute of Arabic Literature in Tunis (Ibla) andRomano Arabica published by The Centre for Arab Studies in Bucharest, Romania. He is the author of several works of literary criticism and has translated a number of books including the works of Tzvetan Todorov.