April 7, 2024

Jalal Barjas: Awards are a beautiful pathway to readers.

Jalal Barjas interview

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!

Jalal Barjas: Awards are a beautiful path to readership.

Between literature, travel, and self-confrontation, the Jordanian writer Jalal Barjas – winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction – takes us on a philosophical journey filled with inquiries through his latest novel “The Duduk’s Whimper,” published by the Arab Institute for Studies and Publishing. In a delightful blend of fiction and autobiography, he guides us through poetic language to explore numerous milestones in his life. His narratives intersect in an engaging narrative style, weaving together the tales of three cities he visited and the stories of three books that accompanied him on these journeys, in an attempt to express oneself or confront the self through travel via memory.

After the novel “The Duduk’s Whimper,” made it to the shortlist for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, in the literature category, during its eighteenth edition, the “Riyadh Review of Books” conducted an interview with the Jordanian author Jalal Barjas. The conversation delved into the behind-the-scenes of his writing process for this autobiographical novel, as well as his perspective on literary awards and how he perceives them.

The readers’ acclaim for his literary works, particularly following the release of special editions of his novels in many Arab countries, as well as their translation into several languages, has been a cause for celebration.

After being shortlisted for the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, and previously winning the Arabic Booker Prize and the Katara Prize, as well as receiving the Medal of Excellence from King Abdullah II, what do awards represent for Jalal Barjas?

Awards are a beautiful pathway to readership, a beauty in witnessing my readership growing, thus, there are those who contemplate my words from their own perspective and celebrate my words, and that perspective through which I look at the world. When I meet them, I receive love that adds much to my spirit because I am a child of the street in all its moments. On the other hand, awards are a tribute to the writer and to writing, and this is what we aspire to in our Arab world, where we seek to solidify the status of the writer and literature and increase the rate of reading.

How do you see the most appropriate classification for the novel “The Duduk’s Whimper”? And how do you perceive the variation in its classification by readers?

Some readers have categorized it as a novel, while others have labeled it as a fictional autobiography. However, I personally do not concern myself with the specific classification of this book because I wrote it for myself. It was an important contemplative journey for me into memory. As for the variation in its classification, this is natural, as each reader has their own interpretive tools when reading.

Where will “The Duduk’s Whimper” take us?

Already a member, just Login here to continue reading, or Subscribe Today "FOR FREE" and get access to our exclusive digital literary treasures!!

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!