A powerful and fascinating novelist, a rigorous essayist and critic, and a high-profile intellectual, the Lebanese writer Elias Khoury is one of the most important contemporary Arab authors. From the mid-1970s onwards he has been instrumental in reinventing the form of the novel with books such as Little Mountain, Gate of the Sun, The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol, and more recently The Children of the Ghetto: My Name is Adam. To put it another way, he has been pivotal in the birth of the contemporary novel. His fiction is often set against the backdrop of the Lebanese Civil War or the Nakba, the "Day of Catastrophe"---the forced displacement of over 700,000 Palestinians when the state of Israel was created in 1948. Today, he is a leading author in the Arab world and beyond and has lectured at prestigious American and European universities.
During this conversation punctuated with readings, Khoury will reflect on his novels and on the way Arab literature has evolved over the past 50 years. He will be accompanied by his French publisher, the remarkable director of the Sindbad collection of Actes Sud, Farouk Mardam-Bey.