Alaa Al Aswany’s Favorite Writers

Question: Who were the early influences on your craft?

al Aswany:    Well, it’s a garden full of flowers, you see, because I had a very early French education.  I learned French and Arabic in the same day, and I was raised in a French school, so we had all the great French writers.  We did study this very early, and also I had a very strong influence by the Arab writers through my father, then there are also the big, the masters of the Russian literature who influenced me really very, very, very strongly.  They had a very strong influence on me, like a Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, who was a physician, by the way, and I had, I also learned Spanish, so I read in Spanish, and I have all these great Latin American writers, like Gabriel Garcia, especially Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Isabel Allende, Borges, and many others.  [I] had a very strong influence on me, especially by Ernest Hemingway, Edgar Allan Poe and Ernest Hemingway, but especially Ernest Hemingway.  I think, and I learned through the style of Hemingway how to write what is really necessary, what to say, exactly what you want to say, not less and not more.

Young Alaa As Aswany’s "garden full of flowers" had Dostoevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Marquez and Hemingway growing in it.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Sponsored
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

10 books to check out from Jordan Peterson's 'Great Books' list

The Canadian professor has an extensive collection posted on his site.

Jordan Peterson with Carl Jung and the cover art of Jaak Panksepp's 'Affective Neuroscience' (Image: Chris Williamson/Getty Images/Big Think)
Personal Growth
  • Peterson's Great Books list features classics by Orwell, Jung, Huxley, and Dostoevsky.
  • Categories include literature, neuroscience, religion, and systems analysis.
  • Having recently left Patreon for "freedom of speech" reasons, Peterson is taking direct donations through Paypal (and Bitcoin).
Keep reading Show less

Radical theory says our universe sits on an inflating bubble in an extra dimension

Cosmologists propose a groundbreaking model of the universe using string theory.

Getty Images/Suvendu Giri
Surprising Science
  • A new paper uses string theory to propose a new model of the universe.
  • The researchers think our universe may be riding a bubble expanded by dark energy.
  • All matter in the universe may exist in strings that reach into another dimension.
Keep reading Show less

Should you invest in China's stock market? Know this one thing first.

Despite incredible economic growth, it is not necessarily an investor's paradise.

Videos
  • China's stock market is just 27 years old. It's economy has grown 30x over that time.
  • Imagine if you had invested early and gotten in on the ground floor.
  • Actually, you would have lost money. Here's how that's possible.