Laila al-Atrash is a Palestinian/Jordanian writer and journalist. She is the author of half a dozen novels, one of which (A Woman of Five Seasons) was translated into English by Nura Nuwayhid Halwani and Christopher Tingley. Atrash is also noted for her journalism, especially her documentaries on leading figures of Arabic culture. She serves as the President of PEN Jordan.
She started her media career as a journalist and press reporter, then as producer and presenter of radio programs. In the seventies she entered the broadcasting field as a TV news editor, anchor and program producer. Her TV programs covered a range of cultural and social themes and were broadcast by a large number of Arab TV channels and stations. Notable in her TV production was a series of investigative and in-depth programs and interviews with a large host of Arab intellectuals, writers and artists, as well as with other symbols of modern Arab culture in various fields in countries like Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Jordan, Syria, Mauritania, Lebanon, Yemen, and Tunisia. Those won numerous Golden, Silver and special recognition awards at television award ceremonies across the Middle East.
Laila al-Atrash, who holds a degree in Arabic literature, a degree in Law and a Diploma in French. Her published works include: “Sunrise from the West” (a novel, 1988); “A Woman of Five Seasons” (a novel, 1990); “A Day Like Any Other” (a collection of short stories, 1991); “Two Nights and the Shadow of a Woman” (a novel, 1997); “The Neighing of Distances” (a novel, 1999); “Illusive Anchors” (a novel, 2005); and "Women at Crossroads" (travel memoirs 2009), "Desires of that Autumn" (a novel, 2010)
Critics have endorsed and heralded her bold and creative role in portraying the distinct context of the experience of Arab women and in articulating the political, social, and religious dimensions of their strife for human rights and self-fulfillment.
Her most recent novel Hymns of Temptation has been nominated for the 2016 Arabic Booker Prize.