OUT NOW

A hilarious, heartwarming memoir of growing up and becoming oneself in an Egyptian Muslim family

For readers of Benjamin Law’s The Family Law and Alice Pung’s Unpolished Gem, this quick, clever, warm-hearted book introduces a talented new Australian voice.

Via Black Inc.

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SARA EL SAYED

Sara El Sayed is a writer and Sessional Academic working at the Queensland University of Technology. Her debut memoir Muddy People is out now.

Sara is a recipient of a Queensland Writers Fellowship, and was shortlisted for the 2020 Queensland Premier's Young Publishers and Writers Award. 


Her work is featured in the anthologies Growing Up African in Australia and Arab-Australian-Other, and in publications including frankie, Overland and The Lifted Brow. She was shortlisted for the 2019 Richell Prize for Emerging Writers.


She tweets @sarakelsayed.

 
Big Leaf

PRESS

 

SARA EL SAYED ON MUDDY PEOPLE AND THE ‘NERVE-WRACKING’ ACT OF WRITING ABOUT FAMILY

The Guardian

After growing up in a mostly white community, books have helped the Egyptian-born writer find the validation – and solidarity – she craves

THE UNBEARABLE BURDEN OF PARENTAL EXPECTATION AND TRAUMA

The Sydney Morning Herald

Memoirs by young writers are often not about the authors themselves, but rather, the two most important figures in their lives: the parents...

BOOK REVIEW: MUDDY PEOPLE

InDaily

In her debut book, Egyptian-Australian author Sara El Sayed mediates on family, life, death and the murky waters of growing up as a migrant in suburban Queensland.


BOOK REVIEW: MUDDY PEOPLE, SARA EL SAYED, BLACK INC

ArtsHub

An intricate memoir that traverses the muddy divides between child and adult, tradition and change, self and other and identity and culture.

WOMEN’S WEEKENDER: FOR EVERYTHING YOU NEED ON YOUR READ, LISTEN & BINGE LIST

Women's Agenda

This is a tale of growing up and learning to become who you truly are. It’s an inspiring, fresh new story that you change the way you see your own family.

MUDDY PEOPLE: A MEMOIR BY SARA EL SAYED

Readings

Muddy People is the warm and welcoming debut memoir from Egyptian-born Brisbane-based writer Sara El Sayed.

MUDDY PEOPLE: SARA EL SAYED'S PORTRAYAL OF HER OWN FAMILY IS HONEST AND BRACING

The Canberra Times

Throughout, El Sayed's approach is frank, honest, brisk, verging on bracing.

MUDDY PEOPLE (SARA EL SAYED, BLACK INC.)

Books + Publishing

With elegant lyricism, compelling urgency and a dark sense of humour, Muddy People by Sara El Sayed is an impressive debut memoir from the young Egyptian–Australian writer.

BOOKS ROUNDUP

Kill Your Darlings

Late Bloomer, Muddy People, Dark as Last Night, When Things are Alive They Hum

PRAISE FOR MUDDY PEOPLE

‘Both cosmopolitan and Australian at the same time, Muddy People is like the best kind of cake: warm, sweet, a bit nutty – and made with so much love.’ —Alice Pung



‘Sara El Sayed's writing is fresh, vibrant and dynamic. This is the kind of mud that will dirty your hands and cleanse your spirit.’ —Michael Mohammed Ahmad, author of The Lebs



‘Muddy People is a nuanced, engaging and lyrical account of what it means to be Other in Australia, and its characters are impeccably drawn. Sara El Sayed is an enchanting and refreshing new voice in the Australian literary landscape.’ —Maxine Beneba Clarke



‘A beautifully told story of parents and children, pain and loss, and the love that binds people together. Told with real heart and charm, it will keep you riveted from the first page. Sara El Sayed is the most important new Arab-Australian voice in literature today.’ —Rohan Wilson, author of The Roving Party



‘It takes courage to write a memoir, but more than that it takes heart, and Sara El Sayed’s heart is generous and expansive. I gasped in recognition, I teared up in solidarity and I exhaled in relief – finally, a personal story that reflects so much that is familiar but is rarely found on bookshelves. This is the kind of memoir I have searched for in vain for years. Sara El Sayed has written a book both confident and delicate that will leave you eagerly awaiting her next. Read this!’ —Mona Eltahawy, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls



‘With elegant lyricism, compelling urgency and a dark sense of humour, Muddy People by Sara El Sayed is an impressive debut memoir … El Sayed’s coming to voice reflects her journey of self-realisation, of understanding what it means to be a migrant millennial.’ —Books+Publishing

 

LATEST

 
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QUEENSLAND LITERARY AWARDS

Sara is currently a recipient of a Queensland Writers Fellowship. Watch the 2020 Queensland Literary Awards ceremony here

Illustration by Kathleen Jennings

CONTACT

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