DAI salutes our brilliant theory-tutor Ghalya Saadawi, who has just won the Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize 2023 for Between October and November, a book-length essay on time and loss under capitalist modernity. The essay begins as a letter to a friend in which Saadawi explores political family histories, fashion and retromania. Between October and November continues in "fragments and digressions" which touch upon cultural criticism, family memoir and life writing, thinking through "the continued cultural obsession with the past and the future, foreclosed revolutionary legacies, the contradictions of destruction and tradition, mourning and the mediation of memory".

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Saadawi wins a £3,000 cash prize, the opportunity to spend time in residency at arts organisation the Mahler & LeWitt Studios in Spoleto, Italy, and publication by Fitzcarraldo.

Publisher Jacques Testard commented: "We are excited to be welcoming Ghalya Saadawi to Fitzcarraldo Editions. We set up this prize precisely in order to encounter books like Between October and November, which promises to be brilliantly written, fascinating and wide-ranging, and unlike any other book I have encountered."

Saadawi said: "It’s with real joy and humility that I accept the 2023 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize. I’m very excited for the opportunity to work with such a compelling, admirable publisher." 

The Fitzcarraldo Editions/Mahler & LeWitt Studios Essay Prize is an annual competition for unpublished authors and this year was judged by Joanna Biggs, Brian Dillon, Joanna Kavenna, Max Porter and Testard.

Saadawi’s essay triumphed in a shortlist, chosen from 107 entries, which included: Luke Allen’s There is another world, but it is this one, Toby Chai’s Embryos Denied Mitosis, Pete Kowalczyk’s Time is a BorderThe Balkan Bridge by Matthew Porges and Asa Serezin’s The Divorce Plot


Read more about Ghalya Saadawi@DAI.