maya abu alhayyat

Meet Maya Abu-Alhayyat

Another addition to our series! We've been asking the authors and illustrators of our current and upcoming titles about their favorite childhood books . . . and as a bonus we asked for photos of them as kids! Meet Maya Abu-Alhayyat, author of the upcoming book, The Blue Pool of Questionsthen and now:

Maya is an award-winning Palestinian novelist, poet, and children’s book writer. She has published three collections of poetry: Home Dresses and Wars (Dar Alahlyah, 2016), This Smile, That Heart (Dar Raya, 2012), What She Said about Him (House of Poetry & Qattan Foundation, 2007); and three novels: Bloodtype (Dar el-Adab, 2013), Grains of Sugar (House of Poetry, 2004), and Threshold of Heavy Spirit (Ogarit, 2011); as well as several children’s books. Her writing has been featured in international journals and magazines and has been translated into English, French, German, Swedish, and Korean. Since 2013 Maya has worked as the director of the Palestinian Writing Workshop in Birzeit, West Bank, Palestine. She currently lives in Jerusalem with her husband and children.

Maya has provided a list of her favorite children's books, but not ones from her childhood because, she writes, "I didn't have access to children's books when I was a kid." Maya goes on to explain, "I was raised in the diaspora without my father or mother, who were separated when I was one year old. I lived with my aunt, who was poor, and reading was not a priority. Later, I lived with my father in Tunis. He was afraid that books and reading would make me who I am today :-)." Maya's novel, Bloodtype, explains her complex story and is currently looking for a home with an English-language publisher. 

Maya's favorite children's books: 

Haltabis Haltabis حلتبيس حلتبيس  by Rani Sghair 

The Story of The Squash قصة الكوسا by Samah Idress

Is this a Photo  هل هذه صورة شمسية by Nadin Touma

Hazzur Umm Fazoura حزورة أم فزورة by Rula Sadeh

really really  حقاً حقاُ by K.Gray

Boulqash بولقش by Yara Bamieh

Unimportant Tips for The Young Reader نصائح غير مهمة للقارئ الصغير  by Anas Abu Rahmeh

Author photo by Salim Abu Jabal