Omar El Akkad's picture

Omar El Akkad


OMAR EL AKKAD was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Doha, Qatar until he moved to Canada with his family. He is an award-winning journalist and author who has traveled around the world to cover many of the most important news stories of the last decade. His reporting includes dispatches from the NATO-led war in Afghanistan, the military trials at Guantànamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt and the Black Lives Matter movement in Ferguson, Missouri. He is a recipient of Canadas National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting and the Goff Penny Memorial Prize for Young Canadian Journalists, as well as three National Magazine Award honorable mentions. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Science Fiction
   American War (2017)
   What Strange Paradise (2021)
Omar El Akkad recommends
My Friends (2024)
Hisham Matar
"My Friends is quite possibly Hisham Matar's best work yet, and that's saying something. A quiet detonation of a novel, this masterful inquiry into the nature of friendship, exile and place is not so much to be read as lived through. The depth of thought, the unflinchingly honest confrontation with loss and longing, is there on every page, in every moment. Very few writers alive can converse with negative space the way Matar does, and My Friends is stunning, beautiful proof."
The Refugee Ocean (2023)
Pauls Toutonghi
"There is a tender fearlessness that runs through The Refugee Ocean, a book as unflinching in its depiction of conflict as it is anchored to the healing power of art. Pauls Toutonghi has written such a richly imagined and emotionally complex story set where the grand sweep of history collides with the innate human desire for shelter, connection and beauty. The result is an unforgettable novel about the way the lives of the displaced can echo through decades and across oceans, the way we are, even or perhaps especially when unanchored from the places of our birth, bound to one another."
Wellness (2023)
Nathan Hill
"Wellness is such a beautiful, sometimes sad, sometimes satirical but most of all honest book about the many people a person becomes - the way a life, in time, inevitably upends itself. A love story of dislodged chronology, Nathan Hill's brilliant interrogation of a single relationship spiderwebs out into almost every facet of our contemporary anxieties. Few writers working today have dissected, with such a sharp scalpel, the fundamental paradox of modern American life: this hopelessly broken need to fix what may not need fixing, to reach with utter desperation for a version of better that may not be better at all. Read Wellness with caution: it lays so much of our little self-deceptions bare."

More recommendations 

Anthologies containing stories by Omar El Akkad
Small Odysseys (2022)
Selected Shorts Presents 35 New Stories
edited by
Hannah Tinti
A People's Future of the United States (2019)
Speculative Fiction from 25 Extraordinary Writers
edited by
John Joseph Adams and Victor LaValle

James Tait Black Memorial Prize for Fiction Best Book nominee (2017) : American War
Arthur C. Clarke Award Best Book nominee (2018) : American War

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