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Elias Khoury was born in Beirut in 1948 and is prominent worldwide as a public intellectual. A polymath literary critic, journalist, novelist, playwright, academic and intellectual, after studying Sociology and History at the Lebanese University, Beirut, and the University of Paris, he became a journalist and literary critic. He worked as assistant editor and then managing editor of Shu’oun Filastinia (Palestinian Affairs).
Since 1975 he has published fourteen novels. He also served on the editorial board of the iconic literary magazines Mawaqif – with Adonis – and Al-Karmel with Mahmoud Darwish. Later he became editor of the cultural pages of As-Safir newspaper, and then editor of “Mulhaq”, An-Nahar’s weekly literary supplement.
Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at New York University. He has authored eleven novels with many published in translation, four works of literary criticism, and three plays.
In 2000 he was awarded the Prize of Palestine for Gate of the Sun, and in 2006 its English translation by Humphrey Davies won the inaugural Banipal Arabic Literary Translation Prize. For details click here. The translation was also named Best Book of the Year by Le Monde Diplomatique, The Christian Science Monitor, and The San Francisco Chronicle, and a Notable Book by The New York Times.
In December 2007 he was awarded the prestigious Owais Prize for fiction writing.
In January 2010 the translation by Humphrey Davies of his novel Yalo won the fifth year's award of the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation. For details click here.
In addition to his novels, Elias Khoury has published four books of literary criticism, three plays, two screenplays, and a collection of short stories.
He has had a distinguished academic career as a visiting professor at both Columbia and New York Universities and at the Lebanese American University, as Global Distinguished Professor of Middle Eastern and Arabic Studies at the University of New York, also teaching at the Lebanese University and the American University of Beirut.