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.
SARA EL SAYED ON MUDDY PEOPLE AND THE ‘NERVE-WRACKING’ ACT OF WRITING ABOUT FAMILY
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, SARA EL SAYED, BLACK INC
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
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: 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.
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