The Last Pomegranate Tree

Bachtyar Ali novel shortlisted for Gregg Barrios Prize

NEWSROOM, Jan. 28 — Bachtyar Ali’s third novel, “The Last Pomegranate Tree,” is a finalist for the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize, competing against five other novels.

Originally released in 2002, the novel recently witnessed a resurgence in acclaim and critical attention following its English translation by Kareem Abdulrahman in 2023. Published by Archipelago Books, Bachtyar’s magic realist fable about a Kurdish war veteran after 21 years of solitary confinement is now picking up awards buzz.

The National Book Critics Award, established in 1976, recognizes exceptional works across various genres, including fiction, non-fiction, science fiction, poetry, autobiography, biography, and criticism.

Abdulrahman’s translation of Bachtyar Ali’s work is shortlisted alongside Natascha Bruce’s translation of “Owlish” by Dorothy Tse, Don Mee Choi’s translation of “Phantom Pain Wings” by Kim Hyesoon, Todd Fredson’s translation of “Zakwato & Loglêdou’s Peril” by Azo Vauguy, Maureen Freely’s translation of “Cold Nights of Childhood” by Tezer Özlü, and Tiffany Tsao’s translation of “Happy Stories, Mostly” by Norman Erikson Pasaribu.

In 2016, the novel was recognized as one of the best books by German critics and ranked first on the Lit Promo list. In 2022, “Jamshid Khani Mamm (My Uncle Jamshid Khan)” was among Austria’s ORF top 10 books.

Bachtyar Ali, known for the translations of his novels into German, has previously received prestigious awards such as the Nelly Sachs Prize and Hilde Domin Prize.

In an interview, Ali commented on “The Last Pomegranate Tree,” saying, “If I had to choose one of my books to take to another world, it would be this novel.”

Bachtyar Ali's 'Occupation of Darkness' gears up for third release

Bachtyar Ali's 'Occupation of Darkness' gears up for third release