Bahaa Taher was born in Cairo, Egypt. He was active in the country’s left-wing literary circles of the 1960s and in the mid 1970s was prevented from publishing his work. After many years of exile in Switzerland, he has recently returned to Egypt. Now one of the most widely read novelists in the Arab world, Taher has received the State’s Award of Merit in Literature, the highest honour the Egyptian establishment can confer on a writer. He is the author of four collections of short stories, several plays and works of non-fiction, and six novels: East of the Palms; As Doha Said; Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery; Love in Exile; The Point of Light and Sunset Oasis, which won the Book Prize Foundation’s inaugural International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008 and was longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2008.
Photo credit © Sherif Sonbol