Pakistani publishing house Maktaba-e-Daniyal has been shortlisted for the Prix Voltaire by the International Publishers Association.
The publishing house was criticized due to the Urdu translation of Hanif’s A Case of Exploding Mangoes, a novel that looks unfavorably at former military dictator Gen Zia ul Haq.
The author shared his excitement on Twitter: “My brilliant publisher Hoori Noorani (Maktaba Daniya) has been shortlisted for this.”
He has also called on TV channels to run tickers centering on the nomination.
According to publishersweekly.com, since 2006 the award recognizes outstanding courage in defending the freedom to publish and encouraging others to exercise their right to freedom of speech. It also carries a cash prize of more than $9,000.
Three additional publishing houses were shortlisted along with Hanif’s publisher. These include Avesta Yayinlari, a Turkish publishing house, Malaysian publisher Chong Ton Sin, who has defied government censors by publishing inexpensive editions of books on controversial topics, and a Vietnamese publishing house founded last year that focuses on books by politically dissident writers.
This year’s award winner will be declared at the 33rd International Congress of Publishers in Norway this May.