Salwa Bakr

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Salwa Bakr (born 1949) is an Egyptian critic, novelist and author.[1] She was born in the Matariyya district in Cairo in 1949. Her father was a railway worker. She studied business at Ain Shams University, gaining a BA degree in 1972. She went on to earn another BA in literary criticism in 1976, before embarking on a career in journalism. She worked as a film and theatre critic for various Arabic newspapers and magazines. Bakr lived in Cyprus for a few years with her husband before returning to Egypt in the mid-1980s.

Bakr's father died early, leaving her mother a poor widow. Her work often deals with the lives of the impoverished and the marginalized.[2] In 1985, she published her first collection of short stories, Zinat at the President's Funeral, which was an immediate success. She has published several collections of short stories since. Her debut novel was called Wasf al-Bulbul (1993).

Salwa Bakr is married with children and lives in Cairo.


Bakr's books have been translated into various European languages, including Spanish, French and Polish . Her work has appeared in Banipal magazine, Words Without Borders, and in a number of English-language anthologies.

Single-volume English translations of her work include:

Awards and reception[edit]

The Man from Bashmour was named as one of the 100 best Arabic novels by the Arabic Writers' Union.[3] In 1993, she won the German Deutsche Welle Prize for Literature.[1]


  1. ^ a b Claudia Mende (September 24, 2012). "The Voice of the Marginalized". Retrieved September 24, 2012.  Profile of the Egyptian Writer Salwa Bakr
  2. ^ "Salwa Bakr". Arab Women Writers. Retrieved September 24, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Best 100 Arabic Books (According to the Arab Writers Union)". Arabic Literature (In English). May 7, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2012.