Amin Maalouf, 2009
25 February 1949 |
|Notable work(s)||Leo the African, Rock of Tanios, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, and Samarkand|
Amin Maalouf (Arabic: أمين معلوف), born 25 February 1949 in Beirut, is a Lebanese-born French author. Has lived in France since 1976. Although his native language is Arabic, he writes in French, and his works have been translated into many languages. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his novel The Rock of Tanios (English translation of Le rocher de Tanios). He has also been awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature in its 2010 edition. He was elected at the Académie française on 23 June 2011, on seat 29. Maalouf is the first Lebanese inducted as an academy immortal. He filled the vacant member seat of the late Claude Lévi-Strauss, French anthropologist and ethnologist.
Maalouf is the second of four children. His parents' families were from the Lebanese mountain village of Ain el Kabou. His parents married in Cairo in 1945, where Odette, his mother, was born of a Maronite Christian father from the village, who had left to work in Egypt, and his mother born in Turkey. Amin's father, Ruchdi, was from the Melkite Greek Catholic community. One of his ancestors was a priest whose son converted to become a Presbyterian parson. The parson's son (Maalouf's grandfather) was a "rationalist, anticlerical, probably a freemason, and refused to baptise his children". While the Protestant branch of the family sent their children to British or American schools, Maalouf's mother was a staunch Catholic who insisted on sending him to Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour- a French Jesuit school. He studied sociology at the Francophone Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut.
Maalouf’s first book, "The Crusades Through Arab Eyes,” examines the period from an Arab perspective.
Besides novels, he has written four opera librettos and several works on non-fiction, of which 'Crusades through Arab Eyes' is probably the best known.
In 2010 he received the Prince of Asturias Award laureate for Letters for his work, an intense mix of suggestive language, historic affairs in a Mediterranean mosaic of languages, cultures and religions and stories of tolerance and reconciliation.
Maalouf has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), the University of Tarragona Rovira i Virgili (Spain) and the University of Evora (Portugal).
Winning the Prix Goncourt
Francois Nourrissier, president of the Goncourt jury, said Maalouf was awarded the prize for his novel Le rocher de Tanios (The Tanios Rock), set in 19th-century Lebanon. The Goncourt pays a token $9 but guarantees the winner additional sales of up to 500,000 copies and media fame.
Works of fiction
Maalouf's novels are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. Their characters are itinerant voyagers between lands, languages, and religions.
- Leo Africanus (1986) ISBN 1-56131-022-0
- Samarkand (1988) ISBN 1-56656-293-7
- The Gardens of Light (1991) ISBN 1-56656-248-1
- The First Century after Beatrice (1992) ISBN 0-7043-7051-4
- The Rock of Tanios (Prix Goncourt) (1993) ISBN 0-8076-1365-7
- Ports of Call (1996 under the title 'Les échelles du Levant') ISBN 1-86046-890-X
- Balthasar's Odyssey (2000) ISBN 1-55970-702-X
- L’amour de loin (Love from Afar), composer Kaija Saariaho, 2000
- Adriana Mater, composer Kaija Saariaho 2003
- La Passion de Simone, oratorio, composer Kaija Saariaho 2006
- Émilie (opera), composer Kaija Saariaho 2010
Works of non-fiction
- The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (English translation of Les Croisades vues par les Arabes), 1986. ISBN 0-8052-0898-4
- In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong (English translation of Les Identités meurtrières, 1998; translated by Barbara Bray, 2000. ISBN 0-14-200257-7
- Origins: A Memoir (FSG, 2008) 1st edition 2004 winner of the Prix Mediterranee 2004¨
- Le Dérèglement du monde : Quand nos civilisations s’épuisent, Grasset, 2009 (ISBN 978-2-246-68151-9)
Notes and references
- Jaggi, Maya (16 November 2002). "Profile: A Son of the Road". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
- Mazen hayek / free tribune: Amin maalouf and the civilization of our times. (29 June 2011). Alarabiya. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/874284467?accountid=8555; http://vp9py7xf3h.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/ProQ%3Anewsstand&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=unknown&rft.jtitle=Alarabiya&rft.atitle=Mazen+Hayek+%2F+Free+Tribune%3A+Amin+Maalouf+and+the+Civilization+of+Our+Times&rft.au=&rft.aulast=&rft.aufirst=&rft.date=2011-06-29&rft.volume=&rft.issue=&rft.spage=&rft.isbn=&rft.btitle=&rft.title=Alarabiya&rft.issn=
- Reuters. (9 November 1993). Amin maalouf wins top french book award. Toronto Star. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/436942014?accountid=8555; http://vp9py7xf3h.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/ProQ%3Anewsstand&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=unknown&rft.jtitle=Toronto+Star&rft.atitle=Amin+Maalouf+wins+top+French+book+award%3A+%5BAM+Edition%5D&rft.au=Reuter&rft.aulast=Reuter&rft.aufirst=&rft.date=1993-11-09&rft.volume=&rft.issue=&rft.spage=B.10&rft.isbn=&rft.btitle=&rft.title=Toronto+Star&rft.issn=03190781
- "Le palmarès" (in French). Académie Goncourt. Archived from the original on 6 November 2009. Retrieved 27 November 2009.