Ahdaf Soueif



Ahdaf Soueif
( أهداف سويف) was born in Egypt in 1950, but between the ages of four and eight she lived in England while her mother studied for her PhD at London University. She learned to read from Little Grey Rabbit and English comics. She returned to England in 1973 to study for a doctorate in linguistics at Lancaster University.

Her first book Aisha was shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. Her most recent novel is The Map of Love, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1999.  Mezzaterra: Fragments from the Common Ground, Ahdaf Soueif's collected essays and journalism were published in November 2004.

Best known as a novelist, Soeif is also a political and cultural commentator. She writes in both English and Arabic and has written various essays and reviews published in: The Guardian, Al Shoroq, Akhbar al-Adab, al-Arabi, Cosmopolitan, Granta, al-Hilal, al-Katibah, The London Magazine, The London Review of Books, New Society, Nisf al-Dunya, The Observer, Sabah al-Kheir, The Sunday Telegraph, Times Literary Supplement, the Washington Post and others..

Soueif is also a political activist, and a supporter of the Palestinian cause. She is the patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and the Chair of PalFest.

(From AhdafSoueif.com Website)


Publications: (English)


  • Aisha (short stories, 1983): “Ahdaf Soueif bridges the two worlds in a highly unusual and richly impressive first novel. One awaits her next with great expectations.” Christopher Wordsworth, Guardian
  • In the Eye of the Sun (1992): “Raw, accurate, unendingly searing. Soueif is one of the most extraordinary chroniclers of sexual politics now writing.” Edward Said, TLS
  • Sandpiper (short stories, 1996): "Sandpiper is a compelling and complex study of perspective, ways of seeing, ways of feeling."
  • The Map of Love (1999): Shortlisted for the Booker Prize, 1999 "Ahdaf Soueif has written a masterpiece ... set in the past and present, it has the weight of a Victorian novel without trading in nostalgia. Filled with subtlety, grace and beauty, it will make the reader cry. ” The Big Issue
  • I Think of You: (2007): In these selected stories from her collections "Aisha" and "Sandpiper", Ahdaf Soueif writes about love and displacement in prose that is delicately nuanced and acutely observed.


  • Mezzaterra (2004): "Soueif is a political analyst and commentator of the best kind."  London Review of Books


  • I Saw Ramallah, a memoir by Mourid al-Barghouti, AUC Press, Cairo, Random House,  New York and Bloomsbury, UK. 2000
  • In Deepest Night, a play for al-Warsha Theatre Group performed at the Kennedy Centre, Washington DC. 1998

(Translated from English to Arabic):

  • زينة الحياة
  • خارطة الحب
  • في مواجهة المدافع

Official Website:


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