Hoda Barakat is a Lebanese novelist, who was born in Beirut in 1952. She has worked in teaching and journalism and currently lives in France. She has published six 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. She received the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ in 2002 and the ‘Chevalier de l’Ordre du Mérite National’ in 2008. Her novels include: The Stone of Laughter (1990), Disciples of Passion (1993), The Tiller of Waters (2000) which won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in that year, and My Master and my Lover (2004). Her fifth novel The Kingdom of This Earth (2012) reached the IPAF longlist in 2013. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize, given (at that time) every two years to honour a writer’s achievement in fiction. Barakat has featured in Banipal magazine on several occasions including the publication of excerpts from A Tiller of Water in autumn 2009.