Ahdaf Soueif is the author of two novels, In the Eye of the Sun and The Map of Love, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize in 1999; a story collection, I Think of You; and an essay collection, Mezzaterra: Notes from the Common Ground. She lives in Cairo, where she was born.
Her novel The Map of Love (1999) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and subsequently translated into 21 languages. Soueif writes primarily in English, but her Arabic-speaking readers say they can hear the Arabic through the English. Along with in-depth and sensitive readings of Egyptian history and politics, Soueif also writes about Palestinians in her fiction and non-fiction. A shorter version of “Under the Gun: A Palestinian Journey” was originally published in The Guardian and then printed in full in Soueif’s recent collection of essays, Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground (2004). Soueif has also translated Mourid Barghouti’s I Saw Ramallah (with a foreword by Edward Said) from Arabic into English.
In 2007, Soueif was one of more than 100 artists and writers who signed an open letter initiated by Queers Undermining Israeli Terrorism and the South West Asian, North African Bay Area Queers (SWANABAQ) and calling on the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival “to honor calls for an international boycott of Israeli political and cultural institutions, by discontinuing Israeli consulate sponsorship of the LGBT film festival and not cosponsoring events with the Israeli consulate.”
In 2008 she initiated the first Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest). Soueif is also a cultural and political commentator for the Guardian newspaper and she has been reporting on the Egyptian revolution. In January 2012 she published Cairo: My City, Our Revolution – a personal account of the first year of the Egyptian revolution
Books in order of publication:
In the Eye of the Sun – 1993
I Think of You: Stories – 1996
Sandpiper – 1996
The Map of Love – 1999
Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground – 2004 Cairo: My City, Our Revolution – 2012