Lettre Ulysses Award for the art of reportage

Elias Khoury, Lebanon



Journalist, literary critic, novelist, dramaturge. Elias Khoury was born in Beirut in 1948. He studied history and sociology at the Lebanese university in Beirut and at the university in Paris. Khoury supported the interests and rights of the Palestinians and worked at the PLO Research Center in Beirut from 1973 to 1979. In the mid-seventies he stopped doing militant work and started a career as a journalist. From 1976 to 1979, together with the Palestinian lyric poet Mahmud Darwish, he published the newspaper Su'un filastiniya (Palestinian Affairs). In 1979, as editor for literature, he switched to the daily paper As-Safir, where he worked until 1991. Since 1992 Khoury has been publisher and editor-in-chief of the culture and literary supplement to Beirut's daily paper An-Nahar. (An interview about politics and culture in Lebanon, an article about Palestine).

Elias Khoury is considered one of the leading contemporary Arabic intellectuals and writers. His literary work includes, among things, eight novels. This includes the novel al-Jabal al-Saghir that was published in 1977 (The Little Mountain, Engl. 1989), Rahlat Gandhi al-Saghir of 1991 (The Journey of Little Gandhi, Engl. 1994), and Abwab al-Madinah of 1993 (Gates of the City, Engl. 1993). In 1996 the novel The Kingdom of Strangers was published, which shows the Lebanese capital as the scene of warring historical and political powers, as the scene of the Israeli-Lebanese war, which breaks apart at the seams of its various ethic groups, languages, and religions during the civil war. The novel Bab Al-Shams that was published in 1998 was translated into Hebrew and received the Palestine Prize. A novel was thereby honored that told of the Palestinian exodus and the life of the Palestinian refugees in the Lebanese camps. Khoury's novels have been translated into numerous languages.

Elias Khoury also is the author of numerous theater pieces, which have been performed, among places, in Beirut, Cairo, Paris, and Vienna.

Elias Khoury lives in New York and Beirut.

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"Literary reportage is an engagement with reality with a novelistís eye but with a journalistís discipline."Pedro Rosa Mendes (jury member 2003, 2004, 2005 & 2006)