Amin Maalouf

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Amin Maalouf, born on (25 February, 1949) in Beirut, Lebanon is a Lebanese author. He was born in Beirut in 1949, the second of four children. His parents' families were from the Lebanese mountain village of Ain el Kabou. They had 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 a mother born in Turkey. Amin's father, Ruchdi, was from the Melchite or Greek Catholic community, which recognises the Pope while retaining some Byzantine rites. 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 French Jesuit school. He studied sociology at the French University in Beirut.He worked as the former director of the Beirut daily an-Nahar in Beirut until the start of the civil war in 1975, when he moved to Paris as a refugee. He still lives there today.

Maalouf writes in French, and his works have been translated into many languages. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his book Rock of Tainos.

His novels are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. Their characters are itinerants, voyagers between lands, languages, and religions.

Works of fiction

  • First Century after Beatrice
  • Leo Africanus
  • Rock of Tanios (Prix Goncourt 1993)
  • Samarkand (first published 1988 titled 'Samarcande')
  • Gardens of Light
  • Ports of Call (first published 1996 titled 'Les chelles du Levant')
  • Balthazar's Odyssey

Works of non-fiction

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