Yasser El-Sayed

Yasser El-Sayed

Yasser El-Sayed is a short story writer, novelist and physician.

He was a finalist for the Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing 2016, and his stories have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and Best American Short stories.

His short stories have been published in Threshold Magazine, New Orphic Review, The Marlboro Review, Red Truck Review, Natural Bridge, The Literary Lawyer, Red Dirt Forum and Cowboy Jamboree.

His first book is "The Alexandria You Are Losing", a story collection that focuses on the Arab-American immigrant experience abroad and in the United States.

Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Yasser El-Sayed's life has been a travelogue of cultural discovery.  He lived in Tripoli, Libya, Glasgow, Scotland, Boston, Kansas, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Wisconsin before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. His writing often delves into extreme geographic diversity —120 degree summers in Libya, sub-zero winters in Wisconsin— and the power that landscapes have to shape emotions, create philosophies, and trigger conflict.

"...my high school English teacher, now in her 70s, still reviews and edits my work.
I can't afford to let her down!"

His literary influences are Albert Camus, Anton Chekhov, William Trevor, Sam Shepherd and Laura Kasischke. Plus the movie Paris Texas. "When I was freezing my rear off as a teenager in Boston, the empty spaces and restlessness of the open road seized my imagination," El-Sayed recalls. "Paris Texas showed me America."
      He has recently completed his first novel "Ghibli", set among expatriate American oil workers in Libya in 1977. "Ghibli" explores how cultural collision and the mysteries of love can lead to surprising new definitions of "home".

El-Sayed is also developing a second collection of stories that illuminate the inner lives of physicians, patients and lawyers as they navigate the births, deaths, tragedies and comedies of our contemporary medical-industrial complex.
      When he's not writing or practicing medicine, Yasser El-Sayed is a rock drummer in the band Midnight Rounds. Named after grueling, late night sessions rehearsing for a show that Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood attended, Midnight Rounds gigs regularly in the Bay Area.

And what keeps El-Sayed motivated as a writer? How does he get those pages done, while living the immersive life of a physician? "It's been a compulsion as long as I can remember. And an uncomfortable one at that. Plus my high school English teacher, now in her 70s, still reviews and edits my work. I can't afford to let her down!"

© 2020 by Yasser El-Sayed

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