Atef Abu Saif

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Atef Abu Saif was born in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1973. He holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Birzeit and a Master’s degree from the University of Bradford. He received a PhD in Political and Social Science from the European University Institute in Florence. He is the author of five novels: Shadows in the Memory (1997), The Tale of the Harvest Night (1999), Snowball (2000), The Salty Grape of Paradise (2003, 2006) and A Suspended Life (2014), which was shortlisted for the 2015 International Prize for Arab Fiction (IPAF). He has also published two collections of short stories – Everything is Normal (2004) and Still Life: Stories from Gaza Time (2013) – as well as several books on politics. He is a regular contributor to a number of Palestinian and Arabic newspapers and journals. In 2014 Atef edited The Book of Gaza, as part of Comma’s ‘Reading the City’ series, which featured ten short stories by ten contemporary authors from the Strip. In 2015 Atef was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arab Fiction, also known as the 'Arabic Man Booker'. In 2018 he also won the Katari Prize for Best Arabic Novel (young writers category). In 2015 he published his diaries of the 2014 war on Gaza: The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary (Comma Press), which was described by Molly Crabapple as ‘a modern classic of war literature’. In 2019, he relocated to the West Bank and became Minister of Culture for the PA. At the start of Israel's 2023 war on Gaza, Atef was visiting Gaza for a International Heritage Day event with his 15-year-old son, Yasser.

Books by Atef Abu Saif