is an Egyptian-Canadian author and academic. She was born in Cairo in 1965 and studied French literature at Ain Shams University. She worked for several years in the French Service of Radio Cairo and in the arts faculty at Menoufia University. She also lived for a time in Paris. In 1995, she obtained a Masters in French literature from Cairo University. She moved to Canada in 1998 for her doctoral studies, eventually completing her PhD in 2001 from the University of Montreal under a CIDA scholarship. She has since taught at the universities of Montréal, Concordia and McGill. Her first novel Dunyazad (1997) was critically acclaimed and translated into French, English, Spanish and German. Dunyazad won the 2002 Ulysses Prize for best first novel in France and the 2002 State Prize for best autobiographical novel in Egypt. Her second novel Heliopolis came out in 2001. Telmissany has also written on a wide range of scholarly interests, e.g. essays, articles and book chapters on cinema, photography, literature and Cairo culture. Along with Robert Solé and Mercédès Volait, she has co-edited a book of memoirs on the Cairo suburb of Heliopolis. Her doctoral dissertation on the concept of neighbourhoods in Egyptian cinema has been translated into Arabic and published in Cairo. She has also done extensive translations from French and English to Arabic.
Archive available for: May Telmissany
Four Arabian writers discussed the future of the Arabic novel. Tayeb Salih (London, moderator), May Telmissany (Cairo), Fouad Laroui (Amsterdam) and Hanaan as-Sjaikh (London) discussed subjects like globalisation and the Arabic novel in postmodern times. The discussion was in Arabic. The non-Arabic audience could hear a simultaneious translation into Dutch via headphones.
Volkskrant-correspondent Joris Luyendijk arrived in Cairo as a student and described his experiences in his book 'Een goede man slaat soms zijn vrouw'. In this programme he speaks about the young generation of Egyptians. He meets one of them, witer May Telmissany (Caïro, 1965). She presented the Dutch translation of her first novel 'Dunjasâd'. A discussion in English, moderated by Michaël Zeeman. Dutch/English spoken.