Hoda Barakat was born in Beirut in 1952 and brought up in Bsharré, Lebanon. She has worked in teaching and journalism, and has published five novels, two plays, a book of short stories and a book of memoirs, as well as contributing to books written in French. Her work has been translated into a number of languages.
Barakat was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize 2015 with Kingdom of this Earth. Set in Lebanon, the novel is a sprawling epic, following the people of Bsharri, a Maronite community in Mount Lebanon, from the beginning of the 20th century till the start of the Lebanese Civil War.
She has received critical acclaim in the Arab world and abroad and was awarded the 2000 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her novel The Tiller of Waters and the al-Nagid Award for The Stone of Laughter.
In 2002, she became Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and then the Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite National in 2008.
Barakat currently lives in Paris.