Meeting Award-Winning Author Khaoula Hosni in Kairouan, Tunisia

KAIROUAN- On April 29th, Tunisian author Khaoula Hosni made a stop in Kairouan as part of her book tour plans. Escorted by her sister and niece, Khaoula had a book talk with two booktubers, Asma and Rayhana, two teen book lovers and a blogger (me). The attendees talked about their current reads, their most and least favorite books, and their reading styles. They also shared stories of how they first heard about Khaoula Hosni. 

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From left to right: Mohamed Amine, Imen, Rayhana, Khaoula, Khaoula’s niece, Asma and Nada

Twelve-year-old Mohamed Amine, who joined the gathering after his school hours, said that he heard about Khaoula thanks to a Tunisian booktuber named Amal who shared a video where she talked about Khaoula’s book, A ta Place. Khaoula commented on his statement saying that A ta Place was published in 2013; but it was not till about a year ago that her books started selling out. Khaoula sold around 800 copies ever since Amal talked about the book in one of her videos. Khaoula acknowledged the efforts and importance of having a Tunisian booktube community that promotes Tunisian authors and books. Asma added that a book video is more effective than an article when it comes to the impact a video leaves on the minds of the people of the age of speed.

Khaoula was asked how she usually comes up with the plots, characters and settings of her books, to which she replied that the characters visit her and accompany her her 24/7 everywhere she goes. They never leave her side till they tell her their story in details. Once Khaoula starts turning the lives of these characters into ink, they disappear out of her life. She feels hesitant sometimes to write about some of the characters that live with her in her private space because once she gets used to their presence it becomes hard to let them go.

Khaoula says that it is impossible for her to write without a musical background. She has different folders on her laptop, containing music with different levels of emotional intensity. When she compares texts she wrote while listening to music and other texts she wrote with no music in the background, she feels like the latter have no soul. She mentions how she could never understand authors who write in crowded public places like Atef Attia who writes in coffee shops with no musical background.

Khaoula Hosni is a 34-year-old author who’s published four of her works so far: One short story (Destin, 2012), and three novels (A ta Place, 2013, D.A.B.D.A., 2014, and Le Cauchemar de Bathyscaphe, 2016). She is currently working on a fifth book which she intends to publish in 2017. Her first novel was written at the age of 10. Today, she is an award-winning author of two sophisticated awards: Zoubeida B’chir (2013) for A ta Place and Comar d’Or (2014) for D.A.B.D.A.

Article written by Nada Mrabet

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