Books for changing the world

On Edward Said: Remembrance of Things Past

On Edward Said: Remembrance of Things Past is an intimate intellectual, political and personal portrait of Edward Said, one of the 20th centuries' leading public intellectuals.

Edward Said (1935-2003) was a towering figure in post-colonial studies and the struggle for justice in his native Palestine, best known for his critique of orientalism in western portrayals of the Middle East. As a public intellectual, activist, and scholar, Said forever changed how we read the world around us and left an indelible mark on subsequent generations.

Hamid Dabashi, himself a leading thinker and critical public voice, offers a unique collection of reminiscences, travelogues and essays that document his own close and long-standing scholarly, personal and political relationship with Said. In the process, they place the enduring significance of Edward Said's legacy in an unfolding context and locate his work within the moral imagination and environment of the time.



Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. He received a dual Ph.D. in Sociology of Culture and Islamic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania in 1984, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Max Weber’s theory of charismatic authority with Philip Rieff (1922-2006), the most distinguished Freudian cultural critic of his time. Professor Dabashi has taught and delivered lectures in many North American, European, Arab, and Iranian universities. Professor Dabashi has written 22 books, edited four, and contributed chapters to many more. He is also the author of over 100 essays, articles and book reviews on subjects ranging from Iranian Studies, medieval and modern Islam, and comparative literature to world cinema and the philosophy of art (trans-aesthetics). His books and articles have been translated into numerous languages, including Japanese, German, French, Spanish, Danish, Russian, Hebrew, Italian, Arabic, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Polish, Turkish, Urdu and Catalan.

Novelist Ahdaf Soueif was born in Cairo and educated in Egypt and England, where she studied for a Ph.D. at the University of Lancaster. She is the author of two collections of short stories, Aisha (1983) and Sandpiper (1996), and two novels. In the Eye of the Sun, about a young Egyptian woman's life in Egypt and England, where she goes to study as a postgraduate, set against key events in the history of modern Egypt, was published in 1992. The Map of Love (1999), is the story of a love affair between an Englishwoman and an Egyptian nationalist set in Cairo in 1900, as secrets are uncovered by the woman's great-granddaughter, herself in love with an Egyptian musician living in New York. The Map of Love was shortlisted for the Booker Prize for Fiction. In 2004, her book of essays, Mezzaterra, was published. Her most recent work is Cairo: My City, Our Revolution (2012), a personal account of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. Ahdaf Soueif lives in London and Cairo. She writes regularly for The Guardian and is a key political commentator on Egypt and Palestine. She is the founder of the Palestine Festival of Literature, Pal Fest.