Modern Arab writers: Amin Maalouf

Photo of Amin Maalouf by Tasnim Aslam

Amin Maalouf

Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut on 25 February 1949 to a Christian family. Educated and a French Jesuit school and later at the French University of Beirut, he writes in French. In 1975, on the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon, he moved to Paris, where he still lives.

Migration is a constant theme of his novels, where characters travel between lands, languages, and religions.

In 1993 he received the Prix Goncourt - the most prestigious French literary award - for 'Rock of Tanios'. Another novel, 'Origines', published in 2004, won the Prix Méditerranée.

Besides novels, he has written two opera librettos and several works on non-fiction, of which 'Crusades through Arab Eyes' is probably the best known.

Works of fiction

The First Century after Beatrice
ISBN 0704370514.Purchase from or

Leo Africanus
ISBN 1561310220. Purchase from or

Rock of Tanios
(Prix Goncourt 1993) ISBN 0807613657. Purchase from or

ISBN 1566562937. Purchase from or

Gardens of Light
ISBN 1566562481. Purchase from or

Ports of Call
(French title: 'Les échelles du Levant') ISBN 186046890X. Purchase from or

Balthasar's Odyssey
ISBN 155970702X. Purchase from or


Crusades through Arab Eyes
ISBN 0805208984. Purchase from or

On Identity
ISBN: 1860467296.Purchase from or

In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong
ISBN 0142002577. Purchase from or

Opera librettos

Distant love
Composer: Kaija Saariaho. French title: L'amour de loin, 2001

Adriana Mater
Composer: Kaija Saariaho, 2003


Deadly Identities
By Amin Maalouf. Al-Jadid magazine, Vol. 4, No. 25 (Fall 1998).

Interview with Maalouf
By Carole Corm. Al-Jadid magazine, Vol. 10, nos. 46/47 (Winter/Spring 2004).

Points East
A review of Balthasar's Odyssey by Ian Sansom. The Guardian, October 12, 2002

A son of the road
Profile of Maalouf by Maya Jaggi. The Guardian, November 16, 2002.