Emily Nasrallah

(1938 - )


Novelist, journalist, teacher, lecturer, women’s rights activist and mother, Emily Nasrallah was born in Kfeir, in the south of Lebanon in 1938. She attended Shoueifat National College, a boarding school in the mountains south of Beirut. at the young age of nine years old and continued to earn her BA in education at the American University of Beirut and Beirut College for Women in 1958. A year later she married Philip Nasrallah, a chemist from Zahleh with whom she had four children.

Her first novel Tuyur Ailul (September Birds) was published in 1962, and won her, three Arabic literary prizes. This novel is now in its tenth edition. This book was followed by seven novels, four children's books, and seven short story collections which explore themes such as family roots, Lebanese village life, emigration (her siblings all moved to Canada) the war in Lebanon and the struggle of women for independence and self-expression. She is one of a number of Lebanese women authors known as the Beirut decentrists, who stayed in Beirut, shared the experience of the war and wrote about the conflict.

Literary awards and honors include:

1962 - Laureate Best Novel , Poet Said Akl Prize, Friends of the Book Prize - Tyour Ayloul (Birds of September)
Fairuz Magazine Prize - Outstanding Literary Works
Khalil Jibran Prize - Arab Heritage Union, Australia
1998 - LIBBY Children's Book Prize - Novel "Yawmiyyat Hirr " (A Cat’s Diary)
2002 - Poet Said Akl Prize - Essay on "Southern Winds" (Riyah Janoubiyah)

In 2000 Emily Nasrallah’s works were affirmed required matter for candidates to M.A. and PhD Degree at Saint Joseph University, Beirut.

She participated in the 1988 International Olympics Authors Festival in Calgary (Canada), and was a panelist and guest reader at the 1989 PEN International Congress in Toronto and Montreal. She has participated as panelist and lecturer in conferences in Germany, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland,
Egypt and USA.