Hoda Barakat


Lebanese born Hoda Barakat (هدى بركات) is one of the most original voices in modern Arabic literature. Born in 1952, she graduated from Beirut University in 1974 with a degree in French literature.

In 1975 she went to Paris to start a PhD but because of the civil war she decided to return to her country where she worked as a teacher, journalist and translator. In 1985 her first collection of short stories, entitled Za'irat, was published. In 1985-86 she worked at the Centre for Lebanese Research. She currently lives in Paris, working for an Arabic & French radio station.

All her novels (so far) have been set during the Lebanese civil war and constructed around a male figure living on the margins of society.

The Stone of Laughter, which won the Al-Naqid prize in 1990, was the first Arabic novel to have a gay man as its central character. Another of her novels, The Tiller of Waters, won the Naguib Mahouz Medal for Literature in 2000. In 2008, the  French president granted Barakat the «National Order of Merit» in appreciation of her distinguished talent as a novelist and her breadth of cultural vision.

Barakat's books have been translated into more than 15 languages.

(From al-Bab.com, other resources)

Publications: (Arabic)

Novels & short stories:

  • Za'irat (Visitors, short stories). Beirut:1985 - زائرات
  • Hajar al-dahk (The Stone of Laughter, novel). London:1990 - حجر الضحك
  • Ahl al-hawa (Disciples of Passion, novel). Beirut:1993 - أهل الهوى
  • Harith al-miyah (The Tiller of Water, novel). Beirut:1998 - حريث المياه
  • Rasa`l al-ghareeba .رسائل غريبة -2004
  • Sayyidi wa Habibi (My Master and My Beloved, novel). 2004 سيدي وحبيبي
  • عن دار الآداب-  ملكوت هذه الأرض


  • مرقت من زمان 2009
  • 2010--فيفا لا ديفا

Translated from Arabic into English:

  • The Tiller of Waters
  • The Stone of Laughter
  • Disciples Of Passion


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