Country: Lebanon, Palestine

Year of Birth: 1948


Elias Khoury is a 1948 born Lebanese novelist. Currently editor of The Journal of Palestine studies (quarterly) at the Beirut based Palestinian Research Institute, he previously served as the editor of the Mulhak, the weekly literary supplement of the Lebanese daily An-Nahar, the cultural section of the daily Al Safir, and the publication of Al Karmel and Palestinian Affairs in collaboration with Mahmoud Darwish. Professor of comparative literature, Khoury taught at the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese University, the Lebanese University of Beirut, Columbia University. He was between 200 and 2014 a Global distinguished professor at New York University, Khoury is a public intellectual, who plays a major role in the Arabic cultural scene and in the defense of the liberty of expression and democracy. In March 2001, Khoury signed a statement, along with 13 other Arab intellectuals (including Mahmoud Darwish, Samir Kassir, Edward Said and Adonis), opposing the holding of a Holocaust denial conference in Beirut. Along with Samir Kassir and other intellectuals and political activists, Khoury was involved in the establishment of the Democratic Left Movement in Lebanon, founded in September 2004.

Khoury’s oeuvre (he has published 14 novels, a collection of short stories  novels, 3 plays, and 4 books of literary criticism) is widely translated. His 1998 book, Gate of the Sun, an epic re-telling of the life of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon since the 1948 Palestinian exodus, received the Palestine Prize and was named Le Monde Diplomatique’s Book of the Year in 2000, and by The New York Times as a notable book of the year.


A man like me: Children of the ghetto, 3 | Rajulon yushbihuni: Awlad al ghetto 3 (2023)
Stella Maris: Children of the ghetto, 2 | Nejmat al bahr: Awlad al ghetto 2 (2019)
My name is Adam: Children of the ghetto, 1 | Ismi Adam: Awlad al ghetto 1 (2016)
Broken mirrors: Sinalcol | Al maraya al maksoura: Sinalco (2012)
As though she were sleeping | Ka’anaha na’ima (2007)
Yalo | Yalo (2002)
The smell of soap | Ra’ihat al saboun (2000)
Gate of the sun | Bab al shams (1998)
The chest of secrets | Majmaa al asrar (1994)
The kingdom of strangers | Mamlakat al ghuraba’ (1993)
The journey of little Ghandi | Rihlat Ghandi al saghir (1989)
White masks | Al wujuh al byada’ (1981)
City gates | Abwab al madina (1981)
Little mountain | Al jabal al saghir (1977)
The circle | Aan aalaqat al da’ira (1975)

Photograf:  © Anne Hall

In the press

“One of the greatest writers of our times and perhaps the greatest Arabic-language writer of this generation, definite Nobel Prize material”  “remarkable literary skill”  “poignant”   “close to perfection” — Haaretz, 2018

“Khoury is one of the most innovative novelists in the Arab world.” Washington Post Book World

“Elias Khoury is an artist giving voice to rooted exiles and trapped refugees, to dissolving boundaries and changing identities, to radical demands and new languages.” — Edward W. Said

A writer of panoramic scope and ambition” — Financial Times