Hoda Barakat

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Hoda Barakat
هدى بركات
Born1952 (age 68–69)
Occupationwriter, novelist

Hoda Barakat (Arabic: هدى بركات‎) (born 1952) is a Lebanese novelist. Barakat lived much of her life in Beirut and later moved to Paris, where she now resides. A theme often explored in her works is trauma and war, with all three of her novels being narrated by men living in the margins of society in the Lebanese civil war.[1] Her works are originally written in Arabic and have been translated into English, Hebrew, French, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Dutch, and Greek.[2]


Barakat was raised in the Maronite Christian town of Bsharré, Lebanon, where she lived until she moved to Beirut. M[citation needed] In Beirut, Barakat studied French Literature at the Lebanese University, from which she graduated in 1975. In 1975 and 1976, she lived in Paris where she worked on a PhD, but decided to return home when the Lebanese Civil War started.[citation needed] During this period she worked as a teacher, translator, and journalist. On a personal level, she was married to the poet Mohammad El Abdallah (Arabic: محمد العبدالله) that she met during college days.[3] Barakat published all of her works during this period of war. In 1985 she published her first piece, a collection of short stories called Za'irat ("Women Visitors").[citation needed] She moved back to Paris in 1989 and has lived there ever since. There she published a series of major writings including Hajar al-Dahik (The Stone of Laughter, 1990) and Ahl el-Hawa (People of Love, 1993). In 2004, she visited the United Kingdom on the first Banipal Live UK tour.[4]

Between 2010 and 2011, she was appointed as a fellow[5] in Nantes Institute for Advanced Study Foundation.

In fall 2013, Barakat was appointed the first Arabic Scholar in Residence at the University of Texas at Austin Middle Eastern Studies Program.[6]

Works translated into English[edit]

  • The Stone of Laughter, Interlink Books, New York, 1995, ISBN 9781566561976
  • The Tiller of Waters, American University in Cairo Press, Cairo, 2001, ISBN 9789774246906
  • Disciples of Passion, Syracuse University Press, Syracuse, 2005, ISBN 9780815608332
  • Hoda Barakat's Sayyidi wa habibi: the authorized abridged edition for students of Arabic, Georgetown University Press, Washington DC, 2013, ISBN 9781626160026
  • Voices of the Lost, Oneworld, London, 2021 ISBN 9781786077226


Barakat's first work Hajar al-Dahik (The Stone of Laughter), which is the first Arabic work to have a homosexual man as its main character, won the Al-Naqid prize. Her third novel, Harit al-miyah (The Tiller of Waters), won the 2001 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.[2]

She was decorated with the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2002 and the Chevalier de l'Ordre du Mérite National in 2008.[7]


  1. ^ "Modern Arab writers: Hoda Barakat". al-bab.com. Retrieved 2017-12-16.
  2. ^ a b Hoda Barakat Archived 2007-09-26 at the Wayback Machine (Festivaletteratura) Accessed: March 4, 2007.
  3. ^ "ما لا تعرفه عن هدى بركات .. من هي؟ سيرتها الذاتية، إنجازاتها وأقوالها، معلومات عن هدى بركات". أراجيك (in Arabic). Retrieved 2020-10-25.
  4. ^ Hoda Barakat (Banipal Magazine) Accessed: March 4, 2007.
  5. ^ Nantes IAS fellowship
  6. ^ New Arabic Scholar in Residence Program Brings Hoda Barakat, Fall 2013 (University of Texas at Austin) Accessed: February 1, 2014.
  7. ^ Hoda Barakat Archived 2014-02-04 at the Wayback Machine (International Prize for Arabic Fiction) Accessed February 1, 2014.

External links[edit]