17 May 2011 0 Comments

Inspiration–and laughter–for the ladies: Ghada Abdel Aal’s Writing Life

When she was in her early twenties, Egyptian writer Ghada Abdel Aal began the complicated process of seeking a spouse. It involved meetings in parental living rooms over awkward glasses of tea. On one such occasion her potential groom spent his time screaming at a soccer game on tv. Another turned out to have a […]

8 May 2011 2 Comments

The Reverse Orientalist: Kamal Abdel-Malek’s Writing Life Interview

When Kamal Abdel-Malek was a young student, he chose to study outside the Arab world, eventually becoming a professor at Brown and Princeton Universities in the US. It was the first step in the physical and intellectual journeys of this intriguing Egyptian writer. Born in Alexandria and now a teacher of Arabic literature at the […]

2 February 2011 2 Comments

Omar Yussef predicted Cairo and Tunis

If you’ve been wondering why the people of Tunisia and Egypt have risen up against their dictators and why it caught Washington with pants down, it’s because you didn’t read THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, the latest of my Palestinian crime novels. In THE FOURTH ASSASSIN, which was published exactly a year ago, my Palestinian sleuth Omar […]

15 July 2010 1 Comment

The Barbara Cartland of Cairo…Sort of: Sanna Negus’s Writing Life interview

Cairo is a place we all know to some degree, even if only the image of the pyramids and the Sphinx. A short visit there is enough to make you wonder about how much of this teeming metropolis you really don’t know. No writer gets so deep as Sanna Negus under the skin of this […]

20 June 2010 4 Comments

How to keep up on the Middle East

JERUSALEM — Time was anyone with an interest in the Middle East could be guaranteed a couple of books a year would be brought out by U.S. journalists based in the region. Now many of those correspondents are history, with news bureaus closing and those that remain cutting back. The new books written by Americans […]

14 January 2010 0 Comments

Guardian: Top 10 Arab-world novels

The Guardian asked me to contribute to their regular feature in which authors pick their top 10 novels on a particular subject. Read my top 10 novels set in the Arab world here. Most of the writers I picked are Arab, though there are a couple of Westerners and Tariq Ali is a Pakistani. This, […]