Interview with Mohammed Hasan Alwan, Winner of the 2017 Prize for A Small Death.


How has life changed for you since winning the prize four months ago?

I am more certain now that I should be a full-time writer and stop doing other things, unless they are temporary or are directly connected to literature and culture.

Will A Small Death be translated into English?

I'm working seriously on that. An American translator has been given the task of translating a portion of the novel, which will be presented to a group of publishers who have shown interest, and I'm waiting to see what will happen as a result.

Today you are taking part in a seminar about your winning novel A Small Death at the Berlin Literature Festival. What are your expectations of the German audience and are there writers you are hoping to meet during your stay in Berlin?

In the two days I've spent at the festival before my session today, I've met a number of German writers and readers and have sensed in them not just a genuine, deep interest in Arabic works of fiction in general, but also a particular interest in the focal point of my most recent novel, Muhyiddin Ibn 'Arabi. Indeed, I've met many writers from different countries and in every conversation we had, we felt grateful for such opportunities to connect. 

Have you been invited to take part in any other cultural events in the next few months?

Yes, several cultural events and book fairs in the USA, Jordan, the UAE and Kuwait.

Are you writing another novel?

Yes, I have finished planning the narrative structure of a new novel, with all that entails in terms of research, and I hope to continue working on it properly soon.