Bouzfour Rejects Prize

Like the Egyptian Sonallah Ibrahim late last year, Moroccan writer Ahmed Bouzfour has rejected a literary prize awarded by the government. The prize (for which Bouzfour tied with writer Ouafae Amrani) was intended to honor his latest collection of short stories, Qounqous. Bouzfour rejected the prize in order to protest the government’s incapability to deal with Morocco’s literacy problem. The refusal is costly to him: the $8,000 prize is a hefty sum in a country where a schoolteacher makes about $300 a month. Bouzfour’s fiction has been translated into Spanish, French, and English.