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Amin Maalouf

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Amin Maalouf


Amin Maalouf Amin Maalouf Great Thoughts Treasury

25 February 1949 (age 75) Beirut, Lebanon (

Notable works
Leo the African, Rock of Tanios, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, and Samarkand

Ruchdi Maalouf, Odette Maalouf

Saint Joseph University, Academie francaise, College Notre Dame de Jamhour

Prix Goncourt des Lyceens, Man Booker International Prize, International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

In the Name of Identity, Samarkand, Leo Africanus, The Crusades Through, The Rock of Tanios

Similar People
Ibrahim Maalouf, Kaija Saariaho, Jean‑Christophe Rufin, Kahlil Gibran, Nassim Maalouf

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Amin Maalouf (Arabic: أمين معلوف‎‎; born 25 February 1949) is an award-winning Lebanese-born French author who has lived in France since 1976. Although his native language is Arabic, he writes in French, and his works have been translated into over 40 languages. He received the Prix Goncourt in 1993 for his novel The Rock of Tanios as well as the 2010 Prince of Asturias Award for Literature. He is a member of the Académie française.


Amin Maalouf FileAmin Maaloufjpg Wikimedia Commons

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Maalouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and grew up in the Badaro cosmopolitan neighborhood, the second of four children. His parents had different cultural backgrounds. His mother was born in Egypt, where her father, a Maronite Christian married to a woman born in Turkey, had gone for work. His Lebanese father was from the Melkite Greek Catholic community near the village of Baskinta in Ain el Qabou. Maalouf's mother was a staunch Catholic who insisted on sending him to Collège Notre Dame de Jamhour, a French Jesuit school. He studied sociology at the Francophone Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut.

Amin Maalouf httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu

He worked as the director of the Beirut-based daily newspaper An-Nahar until the start of the Lebanese civil war in 1975, when he moved to Paris, which became his permanent home.

Amin Maalouf Multiculturalism at One Mind Deadly Identities by Amin

Maalouf's first book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, 1983, examined the period on the basis of contemporaneous Arabic sources.

Besides novels, he has written four texts for musical compositions and several works of non-fiction, of which Crusades through Arab Eyes is probably the best known.


In 1993, Maalouf was awarded the Prix Goncourt for his novel The Rock of Tanois ("Le rocher de Tanios"), set in 19th-century Lebanon. In 2010 he received the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature for his work, an intense mix of suggestive language, historic affairs in a Mediterranean mosaic of languages, cultures and religions and stories of tolerance and reconciliation.

He was elected a member of the Académie française on 23 June 2011 to fill seat 29, left vacant by the death of anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss. Maalouf is the first person of Lebanese heritage to receive that honor.

Maalouf has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Catholic University of Louvain (Belgium), the American University of Beirut (Lebanon), the Rovira i Virgili University (Spain), and the University of Évora (Portugal).

In 2016, he won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for "Cultural Personality of the Year", the premier category with a prize of 1 million dirhams.


Maalouf's novels are marked by his experiences of civil war and migration. Their characters are itinerant voyagers between lands, languages, and religions and he prefers to write about "our past".

  • (1986) Léon l'Africain; English translation: Leo Africanus (1992, Peter Sluglett) ISBN 1-56131-022-0
  • (1988) Samarcande; English translation: Samarkand (1994, Russell Harris) ISBN 1-56656-293-7
  • (1991) Les jardins de lumière; English translation: The Gardens of Light (1996, Dorothy S. Blair) ISBN 1-56656-248-1
  • (1992) Le Premier siècle après Béatrice; English translation: The First Century after Beatrice (1993, Dorothy S. Blair) ISBN 0-7043-7051-4
  • (1993) Le Rocher de Tanios (Prix Goncourt); English translation: The Rock of Tanios (1994, Dorothy S. Blair) ISBN 0-8076-1365-7
  • (1996) Les Échelles du Levant; English translation: Ports of Call (1996, Alberto Manguel) ISBN 1-86046-890-X
  • (2000) Le Périple de Baldassare; English translation: Balthasar's Odyssey (2002, Barbara Bray) ISBN 1-55970-702-X
  • Non-fiction

  • The Crusades Through Arab Eyes (English translation of Les Croisades vues par les Arabes, 1983), 1986. ISBN 0-8052-0898-4
  • In the Name of Identity: Violence and the Need to Belong (English translation of Les Identités meurtrières, 1998; translated by Barbara Bray, 2000). ISBN 0-14-200257-7
  • Origins: A Memoir (FSG, 2008)[1] 1st edition 2004 winner of the Prix Méditerranée 2004
  • Disordered World (English translation of Le Dérèglement du monde, 2009; translated by George Miller, 2011).
  • Librettos

  • L'Amour de loin (Love from Afar), opera, 2000
  • Adriana Mater, opera, 2003
  • La Passion de Simone, oratorio, 2006
  • Émilie, monodrama, 2010
  • All Maalouf's librettos have been written for the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho.


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