Born and educated in Syria, Hamida Nana (حميدة نعنع) began her literary career in 1971, the same year she graduated from Damascus University. Anashid li Imra'a la Ta'rif al-Farah (Anthems for a Woman Who Does Not Know Happiness) was Na'na's first book of poems.
A postgraduate degree in literature and Islamic studies from the Sorbonne was followed by three years of work for UNESCO. Na'na's subsequent work as a journalist as head of the European and North Africa bureau at as-Safir newspaper led to her interviewing a number of prominent thinkers and writers. These interviews with Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jean Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Nathalie Sarraute, Aime Cesaire, Octavio Paz, and Leopold Senghor were published in 1990 in a book entitled Hiwarat ma' Mufakiri al-Gharb (Debates with Western Thinkers).
This book followed the publication of another work of non-fiction, al-Subh al-Dami fi "Adan (The Bloody Morning in Eden) in 1987 which investigated the split of the Yemeni Socialist party. Two of her novels, The Homeland (al-Watan fi-l-'Aynan) and Man Yajruw' 'ala al-Showq (Who Dares to Yearn?), were published in 1989; the latter was also translated into German.
Her political and literary memories, Min Dafter Imra'a (From the Notebook of a Woman), were published in 1992. Na'na currently lives in Paris with her French husband. She is a senior correspondent for the French magazine Le Nouvel Afrique-Asie and also contributes regularly to several Arabic newspapers.
(From The House of Silence by Fadia Faqir)
(Translated from Arabic to English)