Radwa Ashour

Radwa Ashour (Arabic: رضوى عاشور‎) (26 May 1946 – 30 November 2014) was an Egyptian novelist.[1]

Radwa Ashour
Born26 May 1946
El-Manial, Egypt
Died30 November 2014(2014-11-30) (aged 68)
Cairo, Egypt
LanguageArabic, English
EducationCairo University
University of Massachusetts
Years active(1967–2014)
SpouseMourid Barghouti
ChildrenTamim al-Barghouti


Ashour was born in El-Manial[2] to Mustafa Ashour, a lawyer and literature enthusiast, and Mai Azzam, a poet and an artist. She graduated from Cairo University with a BA degree in 1967. In 1972, she received her MA in Comprehensive Literature from the same university. In 1975, Ashour graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a PhD in African American Literature.[3] Her dissertation was entitled The search for a Black poetics: a study of Afro-American critical writings.[4] While preparing for her PhD, Ashour was remarked as the first doctoral candidate in English who studied the literature of the African-American.[5] She taught at Ain Shams University, Cairo. Between 1969 and 1980, Ashour's mainly focused on studying, raising up her son and playing an active role as an activist. She married Palestinian poet Mourid Barghouti in 1970. She gave birth to her son, poet Tamim al-Barghouti, in 1977. In that same year, Ashour's husband, Mourid Barghouthi was deported from Egypt to Hungary. As she and her son stayed in Cairo, they used to make frequent visits to Mourid.[6]

Ashour died on 30 November 2014 after months of long-term health problems.[7]


On 26 May 2018, Google Doodle commemorated Radwa Ashour's 72nd birthday.[8]


  • The Journey: Memoirs of an Egyptian Student in America, 1983
  • Warm Stone, 1985
  • Khadija and Sawsan, 1989
  • I Saw the Date Palms, short stories, 1989
  • Siraj. Translated by Barbara Romaine. University of Texas Press. 2007. ISBN 978-0-292-71752-7.
  • Granada: a novel. Translated by William Granara. Syracuse University Press. 2003. ISBN 978-0-8156-0765-6.
  • Apparitions. 1998. Specters, Translated Barbara Romaine, Interlink Books, 2010, ISBN 978-1-56656-832-6[9]
  • Al-Tantouria, 2010
  • Blue Lorries. Translated by Barbara Romaine. Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing. 2014. ISBN 978-99921-94-48-5.

As editorEdit

  • Encyclopaedia of Arab Women Writers, 1873–1999. American University in Cairo Press. 2008. ISBN 978-977-416-146-9.


Translations of Ashour's WorkEdit

  • Granada Trilogy was translated into Spanish and English[10]
  • Siraj was translated into English.
  • Atyaaf was translated into Italian.
  • She has a number of short stories that were published in English, French, Italian, German and Spanish.

Translated in Tamil by Dr. P. M. M. Irfan, August 2021


  1. ^ "The English Pen Online World Atlas – Radwa Ashour". Penatlas.org. 31 May 2008. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  2. ^ Gikandi, Simon (2003). Encyclopedia of African Literature. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 44–46. ISBN 978-1-134-58223-5. OCLC 1062304793.
  3. ^ "Radwa Ashour (1946-2014): A Literary, Cultural and Political Activist Icon, Echoing in Egypt's Valley". Al Jadid. Vol. 19 no. 68. 2015.
  4. ^ Ashour, Radwa M. 1979. The Search for a Black Poetics: a study of Afro-American critical writings. Thesis—University of Massachusetts.
  5. ^ "Radwa Ashour | W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies | UMass Amherst". www.umass.edu. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Beloved Egyptian Novelist Radwa Ashour, 1946–2014". ArabLit. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  7. ^ "Egyptian writer Radwa Ashour dies at 68". ahram.org.eg. 1 December 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Radwa Ashour's 72nd Birthday".
  9. ^ "Arab America – News – Egyptian Novelist Radwa Ashour's "Specters" Translated by Barbara Romaine". Arabdetroit.com. Archived from the original on 2 October 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Radwa Ashour – Arab Women Writers". arabwomenwriters.com. 3 May 2014. Archived from the original on 4 January 2018. Retrieved 6 December 2018.
  11. ^ "Radwa Ashour". The Kennedy Center. Retrieved 7 October 2019.

External linksEdit