Amara Lakhous

Amara Lakhous joins Yale as Professor in the Practice in the Department of Italian Studies. He is a bilingual novelist, writing in both Arabic and Italian. He holds a Ph.D. in Humanities from the University of Rome, La Sapienza, with a dissertation entitled Living Islam as a Minority in Italy. He is the author of five novels, three of which were written in both Arabic and Italian. His best-known works are the acclaimed Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio(2008), Divorce Islamic Style(2012),Dispute over a Very Italian Piglet(2014), and The Prank of the Good Little Virgin in Via Ormea (2016). His latest novel in Arabic Tir al-lil, The Night Bird(2019) was long-listed in the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2021. His novels have been translated from Italian into 7 different languages. Before moving to the US in 2014, he also worked in journalism for many years in both Italy and Algeria. 

Born in Algiers, Algeria to a Kabyle family, he migrated to Italy in 1995. His family background and life experiences rendered him fluent in Tamazight, Arabic (classical, Algerian, and other regional varieties), French, Italian, and English. This linguistic “polygamy” is at the center of his identity, an openness to cultural fluidity which he promotes in his teaching, writing, and mentoring.   

At Yale, he will also be active in organizing workshops and talks aimed at bringing to New Haven a wide range of creative artists and scholars.