Layla Baalbakki



Layla Baalbakki (ليلى بعلبكي) was born in southern Lebanon in 1936. She studied literature at the Jesuit University in Beirut, but interrupted her education to work as a secretary in the Lebanese parliament. She began her writing career as a journalist on local newspapers and magazines.

Her first highly acclaimed novel, Ana ahya (I Am Alive), was published in 1958, and a volume of her short stories, Safinat hanan ila al-qaamar (A Spaceship of Tenderness to the Moon), came out in 1963. The stories landed her in court on charges of obscenity and harming public morality. Although she was eventually acquitted, she stopped publishing works of fiction after 1964, and has since written mostly articles for newspapers.

(From Arab Women Writers An Anthology of Short Stories by Dalya Cohen-Mar)

Publications: (Arabic)

  • Ana ahya (I Live, novel). Beirut: 1958
  • al-Aliha al-mamsukha (The Deformed Gods, novel). Beirut: 1958
  • safinat hanan ila-l-qamar (A Spaceship of Tenderness to the Moon, short stories). Beirut: 1963

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