Edinburgh Taster: Elias Khoury and Bahaa Taher
Elias Khoury and Bahaa Taher, two widely respected Arabic writers, will be discussing their work at the Frontline Club before they appear together at the Edinburgh Literary Festival.
Yalo, Elias Khoury’s latest work, detailing the confessions under torture of a Lebanese soldier accused of rape was banned in Jordan and the Gulf because of its sexual and religious content.
Bahaa Taher’s new book Sunset Oasis, won the inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2008. Set in 1890s Egypt it chronicles the experience of Mahmoud Abd El Zahir, a man given the dangerous job of governing the remote oasis of Siwa.
Elias Khoury was born in Beirut and is the editor of newspaper al-Nahar’s literary supplement. He has written 11 novels including the acclaimed Gate of the Sun and two plays. He is considered one of the pre-eminent intellectuals of the Arabic-speaking world.
Bahaa Taher was born in Cairo and is the recipient of Egypt’s State Award of Merit in Literature. He has written six novels as well as four short story collections, several plays and a number of non-fiction works. He has recently returned to Egypt after many years in exile in Switzerland.
Photo: Nathan Makan.