Promoted last July to the rank of associated prof., Dr. Shahla Ujayly teaches Arabic literature at the American University of Madaba. She made her literary debut in 2005, publishing a short story collection called The Mashrabiyya. Since then, she has published three novels: The Cat's Eye (2006) (winner of the Jordan State Award for Literature), Persian Carpet (2013), and A Sky Close to Our House (2015). The last-named book has been nominated for the 2016 Arabic Booker Prize.
Ujayli was also a participant at the 2014 IPAF nadwa, an annual writing workshop organized by the sponsors of the Arabic Booker for promising young writers.
Ujayli's academic works include:
- Mirror of Strangeness: Articles on Cultural Criticism (2006)
- The Syrian Novel: Experimentalism and Theoretical Categories (2009)
- Cultural Particularity in the Arabic Novel (2011)
On January 12, 2016, her novel A Sky Close to Our House was picked as one of sixteen candidates for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.
We invite you to watch this interview with Dr. Shahla Al-Ajili, talking about her novel: A Sky close to our house, which was among the 2016 shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.