Peter Theroux
Peter Theroux is an American writer and translator. He studied English literature
English literature
English literature is the literature written in the English language, including literature composed in English by writers not necessarily from England; for example, Robert Burns was Scottish, James Joyce was Irish, Joseph Conrad was Polish, Dylan Thomas was Welsh, Edgar Allan Poe was American, J....

 at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, and spent a year at the American University in Cairo
American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo is an independent, non-profit, apolitical, secular institution of higher learning located in Cairo, Egypt...

. He worked as a journalist in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, and for a time was a staff reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

Theroux's first translated literary work was a volume of Cities of Salt, the epic novel cycle by the Saudi writer Abdelrahman Munif. Other works he has translated include:
  • Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz
    Naguib Mahfouz
    Naguib Mahfouz was an Egyptian writer who won the 1988 Nobel Prize for Literature. He is regarded as one of the first contemporary writers of Arabic literature, along with Tawfiq el-Hakim, to explore themes of existentialism. He published over 50 novels, over 350 short stories, dozens of movie...

  • Rites of Assent by the Egyptian writer Abd al-Hakim Qasim
  • Naphtalene: A Novel of Baghdad by the Iraqi writer Alia Mamdouh
    Alia Mamdouh
    Alia Mamdouh also spelled Aliyah Mamduh is an Iraqi novelist, author and journalist living in exile in Paris, France. She won the 2004 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her novel The Loved Ones...

  • Yalo by Elias Khoury
  • Journey to the Heart of My Enemy by the Iraqi writer Najem Wali
    Najem Wali
    Najem Wali is an Iraqi-German author. Born in Basra, Wali fled Iraq in 1980 after the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq War. He lives in Hamburg. Wali has published seven books. He is a correspondent for Al Hayat and has written in Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit, Neue Zürcher Zeitung, and elsewhere...

  • Dongola: A Novel of Nubia by Idris Ali
    Idris Ali
    Idris Ali was an Egyptian author of Nubian origin. He was born in Aswan in Upper Egypt and studied at Al-Azhar University. He published his first story in 1969, and eventually wrote six novels and three short story collections...

     (winner of the Arkansas Arabic Translation Award
    Arkansas Arabic Translation Award
    The Arkansas Arabic Translation Award is a prize given for a notable English translation of a book-length literary work originally written in the Arabic language. The award is administered by the King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies at the University of Arkansas...

  • The House of Mathilde by Hassan Daoud
    Hassan Daoud
    Hassan Daoud is a Lebanese writer and journalist. Originally from the village of Noumairieh in southern Lebanon, he moved to Beirut as a child with his family. He studied Arabic literature at university. During the Lebanese civil war that broke out in 1975, he worked as a journalist, a profession...

  • Saraya: The Ogre's Daughter: a Palestinian Fairy Tale by Emile Habiby

Theroux has translated literary works from a wide range of Arabic dialects including Egyptian, Iraqi, and Lebanese. His translations are highly regarded. Fellow translator Raymond Stock
Raymond Stock
Raymond Stock is an American academic, writer and translator. He has a BA in Mass Media/Foreign Affairs from Grand Valley State University , and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor...

 said of his work: "There's none better. His translations are clear and poetic and read like they’re written in English".

Alongside these, Theroux has written books of his own, including Sandstorms (1990) that recounted his travels in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

. He has also contributed pieces to National Geographic magazine. Theroux currently lives in Washington DC. He is the younger brother of novelist and travel writer Paul Theroux
Paul Theroux
Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work of travel writing is perhaps The Great Railway Bazaar . He has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his...

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