Amin Maalouf

CCCB  Miquel Taverna, 2012

Amin Maalouf is a writer whose career as a novelist and essayist has been recognised by numerous prizes, among them the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. He has recently been elected to the Académie Francaise.

Born into a wealthy Arab Catholic family in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1949, he studied Political Economy and Sociology and, in keeping with an old family tradition, worked as a journalist. As head of the International Section of the newspaper An-Nahar he travelled to India, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Yemen and Algeria, on some occasions as a war correspondent. With the outbreak of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, he went into exile in France, where he has lived ever since, writing literature full time since 1985. His work, with the Mediterranean as its backdrop, is a celebration of diversity, a steadfast exploration of the condition of stranger that is common to all human beings and an attempt to recover the damaged dialogue between East and West, as shown in both his fictional works (Leo the African, Samarkand, The Gardens of Light, The First Century after Beatrice, The Rock of Tanios, Ports of Call, and Le Périple de Baldassare [Baldassare’s Journey]) and in his essays (The Crusades through Arab Eyes, In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong, Origins and Disordered World). Now, after a ten-year break from fiction, he has just published the novel Los desorientados (Alianza Editorial).

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