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Maryam: Keeper of Stories

  • Author: Alawiya Sobh

  • Translator: Nirvana Tanoukhi

  • UK publisher: Seagull Books

  • Original language: Arabic


Lucy Hannah, EBRD Literature Prize judge: “Alawiya Sobh weaves a gentle story which explores the lives of a handful of Lebanese women during the Civil War. Translated by Nirvana Tanoukhi, the book highlights the memories, histories and bonds between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends. This is an elegant novel about the messiness of love and the costs of conflict.”

The writer

Alawia Sobh is writer, journalist and editor-in-chief of the bestselling women's magazine, Al-Hasnaa, since 1986.  She is author of The Keeper of Stories (2002), winner of the Sultan Taboos prize in 2006, and more recently, It's Called Love, long-listed for the 2010 International Prize for Arabic Fiction.  She lives in Beirut.

The translator

Nirvana Tanoukhi is a translator from Arabic, a critic, and academic specialising in Arabic, African and other world literatures. She is assistant professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).

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