With its tragic history and unique culture, it’s no wonder that Lebanon birthed many influential and great authors. Some of them are even worldwide famous and have contributed a lot to the Arabic literature as well as the french, and English ones.
Covering everything from politics to romance, Lebanese authors are renowned for their unique taste as well as their diverse topics. Thus, the following are considered Lebanon’s most elite writers and their country’s pride.
1. Gibran Khalil Gibran
Known internationally for his prophet book, Gibran Khalil Gibran shaped and influenced an entire generation of writers. The writer rebelled against the norm while staying true to his ideals and principles throughout his life. This is especially shown in his poems as well as his other literary works.
Moreover, since he spent his life between his homeland and New York, Gibran was influenced by both of those cultures. Thus, he wrote and published his work in Arabic and English.
2. May Ziade
Perhaps one of the first feminist voices in the middle east, May has dedicated her life to her profound literary work. May also managed to gain international recognition for her work in an 18th-century literary scene that was almost completely dominated by Arab men.
She wrote in both Arabic and French and published many romantic, political, and influential poems throughout her life. Moreover, she established one of the most historically famous literary salons in the modern Arab world.
Her best-recognized works include Humiliation and Rumors, Equality, and Platters of Crumbs.
3. Amin Maalouf
Maalouf is considered one of the best historical fiction writers of all time. Though he is a Lebanese born native Arabic speaker, Amin writes in french. Moreover, not only was he a member of the Académie française, but he also received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his novel The Rock of Tanios.
Amin’s work provides a historic window to Lebanon events as well as the country’s culture. Moreover, his most notable works include Leo the African, The Rock of Tanios, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, and Samarkand.
4. Hoda Barakat
Hoda Barakat is a great Lebanese writer who provides insight into Lebanon’s war tragedies throughout her works. Barakat’s work has once won the Al-Naqid prize and Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature.
She often highlights the psychological perspective in her works. Moreover, her most notable works include The Night Mail, The Stone of Laughter, The Tiller of Waters, and Disciples of Passion.
5. Mikhail Na’ima
Mikhael is still considered until today one of the most highly valued philosophers, writers, and poets born in Lebanon. He is also known as one of the most significant spiritual writers of the 20th century. Moreover, he wrote in both Arabic and English while his work gained international recognition.
His most famous works include The Book of Mirdad, Memories of a Vagrant Soul, and the biography Khalil Gibran.
6. Hanan al-Shaykh
As a pioneer Arab writer, Hanan played a significant role in the middle east. Moreover, not only is she an amazing novelist, playwright, but her works also include journalism. She often highlighted the psychological nature and misconception of women in the culture of the Arab region in her works.
Furthermore, her most notable works include Women of Sand and Myrrh, Only in London, Two Women by the Sea, and The Locust and The Bird and The Occasional Virgin, a memoir of her mother.
7. Alexandre Najjar
Najjar’s own unique style was influenced by his other position being a literary critic and lawyer. The writer often writes books inspired by the events of his childhood while growing up in a war-torn Lebanon. Moreover, he is an author of more than 30 books that got translated into 12 different languages.
Moreover, though he mainly writes in french, Najjar has several acclaimed Arabic books. His most famous work includes Phenicia, Awraq Joubrania, and Un amour infini.
8. Emily Nasrallah
Emily is one of the most influential Arabic writers in our modern days. From the start, Emily’s talent was recognized globally. Thus, she won 3 Arabic literary awards for her debut novel Birds of September. Nasrallah is considered an author of many classics that get even taught in schools.
She often explores different topics in her writing all while staying true to her beliefs. Her most notable works include A House Not Her Own: Stories from Beirut, and Flight Against Time.
9. Elias Abou Chabke
Elias is a widely known writer, poet, and literary critic in Lebanon as well as the middle east. His works are mostly known for their gloomy and deeply personal aura that also include a biblical touch.
Moreover, Elias’s unique and controversial work had inspired a whole generation of writers and poets who continued his legacy. His notable works include Al-Kithara, Afa’i al-Firdaws, and Al-Alhan.
10. Vénus Khoury-Ghata
As an esteemed award-winning Lebanese writer and poet, Venus wrote over 40 novels and collections of poems that had powerful women protagonists as their main characters. She often wrote many emotional pieces in both rabic and french.
Her award-winning works include A House at the Edge of Tears, A Handful of Blue Earth, and She Says.
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