Egyptian writer and academic A writer of exceptional courage and integrity Radwa Ashour reflected her country's history in her work. Through a series of her novels, memoirs, and literary studies she recorded the unending turbulence of her times including the struggle for freedom, from the end of British influence to the recent Arab uprising and its aftermath. Political activism being embedded in her career, Radwa Ashour helped found the National Committee Against Zionism in Egyptian universities during the presidency of Anwar Sadat. And during the regime of Hosni Mubarak she helped found the March 9 Group for the independence of universities. Though her publications started in 1977 but her own form of fiction took off in her first book, 'The Journey: Memoirs of an Egyptian Student in America', came out in 1983. Her first novel, 'Warm Stone', appeared two years later. Then a stream of her works followed - Siraaj (1992), Granada (1994-95), Spectres (1998), Heavier Than Radwa (2013) and so on. Born in Cairo, Radwa Ashour hailed from a scholarly family. A student of comparative literature, she attained her MA, in 1972, from Cairo University. She completed a PhD at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst - worked on African-American literature, receiving her doctorate in 1975. She returned to Cairo, to Ain Shams University. She finally became head of the department of English language and literature from 1990 to 1993. Radwa Ashour died after suffering from cancer.
Compiler: M. Nauman Khan