Biography

Najwa Barakat was born in Lebanon in 1961. After receiving a degree in theatre at the Fine Arts Institute in Beirut, she moved to Paris and studied cinema at Le Conservatoire Libre du Cinema Français. She has hosted cultural programs produced by Radio France Internationale (RFI), the BBC, and Al Jazeera, and is the author of seven novels as well as the Arabic translator of Albert Camus’s notebooks. She lives in Paris.

Reviews

Hala Kodmani
Libération

‘It’s as though Najwa Barakat wanted to embody, in the person of her lunatic hero, all the chaos, the surfeit of suffering being experienced by her homeland and by her fellow citizens. And she does so with remarkable ingenuity.’

Marjorie Bertin
Le Courrier de L'atlas

‘With this novel, Lebanese author Najwa Barakat leads us into a psychological puzzle . . . part Shutter Island, part Jorge Luis Borges.’

Eglal Errera
Le Monde des livres

‘A singular thriller of identity that keeps the reader in suspense until the final shattering twist.’    

Ashraf Al-Hisani
Al-Araby

‘The human condition is a central focus for Barakat. Through her novels, she strives to build a new person, upholding his dignity and his right to express himself and to live in peace. Barakat searches for the causes of the pain and violence that is exercised upon man, and in doing so, she celebrates the lives of the misfortunate and those defeated by our inexorable reality.’

Ahmad Shawqi Ali
Al-Modon

‘For her protagonist, Najwa Barakat has chosen a psychologically disturbed man, opening for herself and the reader space in which to experience solitude, cruelty and anxiety, and to contemplate the power of language to generate pleasure nevertheless.’

Al-Muthana Al-Shaykh Atiya
Al-Quds

‘Barakat continues to use the poetic, visionary language for which she is known, even as she adapts this language remarkably to capture her complicated subject . . . It is difficult – even for those well-practised in the art of reviewing novels – to capture the beauty of her writing.’

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