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Hoda Barakat

Lebanese-born Hoda Barakat is one of the most original voices in modern Arabic literature. Born in 1952, she graduated from Beirut University in 1975 with a degree in French literature.

She taught for a year in al-Khaim village in southern Lebanon. After the beginning of the civil war in Lebanon in 1975, she moved to Bashara in the north. In 1975-76 she went to Paris to start a PhD but because of the civil war she decided to return to her country where she worked as a teacher, journalist and translator. In 1985 her first collection of short stories, entitled Za'irat, was published. In 1985-86 she worked at the Centre for Lebanese Research. In 1988, she helped to establish Shahrazad, a women's magazine. She currently lives in Paris, working for an Arabic-language radio station.

All her novels (so far) have been set during the Lebanese civil war and constructed around a male figure living on the margins of society. The Stone of Laughter, which won the Al-Naqid prize, was the first Arabic novel to have a gay man as its central character. Another of her novels, The Tiller of Waters, won the Naguib Mahouz Medal for Literature.

Interview with Hoda Barakat: al-Bab



Articles about Hoda Barakat

Hoda Barakat: starting over 
Profile by Youssef Rakha, al-Ahram Weekly 25 November, 1999 

Women and the Lebanese civil war: a literary analysis 
By Felicia Wider, University of Florida, February 2000

Two authors and a press 
Report on the award of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal to Hoda Barakat, by Youssef Rakha, al-Ahram Weekly, 14 December, 2000

Woven archives of Beirut: a conversation with Hoda Barakat 
By Elisabeth Marie, al-Jadid magazine, Spring 2002

The ordinary prose of life 
Review of Barakat's novel, Sayidi wa Habibi (My Master and My Lover), by Mohamed Berrada, al-Ahram Weekly, 21 July, 2005

Books by Hoda Barakat

The Tiller of Waters: 
; amazon.co.uk

The Stone of Laughter: 
; amazon.co.uk

Disciples of Passion: 
; amazon.co.uk


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Last revised on 04 August, 2015