Etel Adnan Biography
(1925– ), The Indian Never Had a Horse, The Arab Apocalypse
poet and writer, born in Beirut to a Muslim Arab father and a Greek mother, educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, and at Berkeley and Harvard in the USA. Though much of her early work was in French, Adnan has, since the early 1980s, written exclusively in English in a variety of genres. Her poetry, collected in volumes such as The Indian Never Had a Horse (1982), The Arab Apocalypse (1989), and The Spring Flowers Own and the Manifestation of the Voyage (1990), covers a range of themes from the natural world to current affairs, but is always marked by autobiographical motifs: expatriation, the Lebanese civil war, the love of women, loss of language, and the confusion of today's world with its shifting boundaries. Two works of prose, the narrative Paris, When It's Naked (1993) and Of Cities and Women (Letters to Fawwaz) (1993), complement each other and the author's poetry, looking at the century's end with unjaundiced but optimistic eyes. Adnan's acclaimed novel of one woman's fatal struggles with the Lebanese war, Sitt Marie Rose (1978), was translated into English in 1982, and is widely considered a feminist classic.