Hanan Al-Shaykh is a novelist, short story writer, playwright and journalist of Lebanese descent who currently lives and writes in London. She has come to be known as one of the leading contemporary female writers of Arabic literature, and her work is highly regarded in both the Arab and the Western worlds. Her novels and short stories have been translated into many languages. Al-Shaykh’s writing is renowned for its strident confrontations of topics that are often considered taboo in the Arab world. In particular, her novel

The Story of Zahra

(1980; trans. 1994) caused outcry in many Muslim countries for its unflinching portrayal of female sexuality, sexual violence and abortion, but it went on to win significant international acclaim and established her reputation as one of the most…

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Citation: Ball, Anna. "Hanan al-Shaykh". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 10 November 2009 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=12629, accessed 22 April 2024.]

12629 Hanan al-Shaykh 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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