Najet Adouani, b. 1956, El Hamma/Tunisia, is a poet, writer, journalist and activist for human rights, women’s rights and freedom of expression. After earning her degree in journalism, she penned articles for numerous oppositional Tunisian newspapers and wrote poetry. Since 1982, she has published seven volumes of poetry and a collection of short stories. Her most recent work is a bilingual German-Arabic collection of poetry entitled Meerwüste (tr.: The desert of the sea) which was published in 2015.
Adouani’s prose and poetry, which often focuses on violence and loss, has been translated into several languages. She resists oppression, injustice and the brutality of dictatorial systems through the beauty of language and poetry of images.
Since 1983, Adouani has been repeatedly forced to leave her homeland Tunisia because of her critical writing. After the Tunisian revolution, her works were banned and she fled to Germany in 2012. She has been a guest of the “Writers in Exile” program of the PEN Center Germany since April 2013.
[tr.: Leila Chammaa]