ASHUR, RADWA

1946 - An Egyptian novelist. Radwa Ashour (also Ashur) is a novelist, short-story writer, literary critic, and university professor from Egypt. She earned her M.A. in comparative literature from Cairo University (1972) and her Ph.D. in African-American literature from the University of Massachusetts (1975). She is professor of English literature at Ain Shams University, Cairo, and is active in the Committee for the Defense of National Culture. In addition to academic literary studies in both Arabic and English, Ashour has published prize-winning fiction: Her novel Gharnata (Grenada, 1994), first of a trilogy on the Muslim community in Spain during the period of the Spanish Inquisition, has garnered much praise for its subtle historical focus, beautiful descriptive writing, and rendering of gender and generational relations; the second and third parts were published as Maryama, wa al-rahil in 1995. She had already published three novels that differed widely in technique and theme - Hajar dafi, Khadija wa-Sawsan, and Siraj - and a travel memoir, al-Rihla; since then, she has published an autobiographical novel, Atyaf, that plays with conventions of authorship and the inside/outside of the text, and a volume of linked short stories in the form of reports by an elusive narrator, playing ironically with the notion of an authorial double and perhaps with the still-prevalent critical tendency to equate the characters created by female writers with the author herself (Taqarir al-Sayyida Ra). Ashour has published critical studies on West African literature, on the Palestinian writer Ghassan Kanafani, on Kahlil Gibran, and on William Blake; she has also published a collection of critical essays (Sayyadu al-dhakira). Several of her short stories have been translated into English (My Grandmother's Cactus), and in 2003 an English translation of Gharnata was in press.<BR><BR>http://www.answers.com/topic/radwa-ashour<BR>

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