We’re a few days out from our exciting Readers’ Festival extravaganza, and we couldn’t be more enthused. But before we get carried away, allow us to present someone pretty special - another of our glorious authors.
In our final instalment of meeting MRF authors, say hello to Amal Awad.
Amal Awad is a Sydney-based writer, journalist, author and screenwriter. She is a regular contributor to SBS Life, and has written for publications like ELLE, Frankie, Daily Life, Sheilas and Junkie. In 2010, she published her debut novel Courting Samira – a tale of Muslim courtship and coming of age in contemporary society – which was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award.
Her book Beyond Veiled Cliches – The Real Lives of Arab Women explores the real lives of Arab women both in Australia and in the Arab world. Her latest book is a look at ageing, illness and life — Fridays with My Folks stems from personal experiences, but expands to a much wider, more universal discussion about life, suffering, coping and hope.
To spend some time with this fabulous woman, be quick to snag tickets to her events:
MRF Book Club: Fridays with my Folks: an intimate conversation about ageing, illness and life, based on personal experience
Growing Up Muslim in Australia: a truly unique panel discussion between Amal Awad, Rawah Arja and Eda Gunaydin
Business or Pleasure: suss out the reading habits of bestselling authors with the help of Bibliotherapist Jenn Martin
Meet Amal Awad
What book/author has had the biggest impact on your career?
Watermelon by Marian Keyes turned on a switch. I have always loved stories, I have always been a voracious reader. I played with being a writer, but that book - irreverent and hilarious but not in such a heightened way that it seemed implausible - got me thinking about the power of humorous storytelling.
How did you get into the writing business?
In a very roundabout way. I graduated from uni with an arts/law degree and practised briefly before an inevitable reckoning: practising law was not my path. I went into editing legal encyclopaedias, then sub-editing trade magazines. It was there I first started to write features, and occasionally I would have a Heckler piece published in The Sydney Morning Herald. My writing career grew from that experience.
What’s your ideal reading setup?
Comfortable chair and a hot drink.
Coffee or tea?
Kindle or Paperback?
Early riser or night owl?
Favourite book of all time?
Woman at Point Zero by Nawal El-Saadawi.
What are you reading right now?
White Tears/Brown Scars by Ruby Hamad — I was lucky enough to get my hands on an advanced copy. This is an important book.