Omar El Akkad
Omar El Akkad is an author and a journalist. He has reported from Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, and many other locations around the world. His work earned Canada’s National Newspaper Award for Investigative Journalism and the Goff Penny Award for young journalists. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Guernica, GQ, and many other newspapers and magazines.
His debut novel, American War, is an international bestseller and has been translated into 13 languages. It won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award, the Oregon Book Award for fiction, and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and has been nominated for more than ten other awards. It was listed as one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, NPR, and Esquire, and was selected by the BBC as one of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World. El Akkad’s second novel, What Strange Paradise, won the 2021 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Pacific Northwest Book Award, and was a finalist for Canada Reads. It was chosen a best book of the year by the The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Globe and Mail, and others.
It is one thing to put a human face on a migrant crisis and another to do so in so compelling a way that a reader simply cannot put your book down. I read this in one sitting, my heart pounding the whole way – in a strange paradise, you might say. Marvellous.” –Gish Jen