Etel Adnan was born in 1925 and raised in Beirut, Lebanon. She was educated in French schools and studied philosophy at the Sorbonne, Paris, at U.C. Berkeley and Harvard. From 1958 to 1972, she taught philosophy at the Dominican College of San Rafael, California. Based on her feelings of connection to, and solidarity with the Algerian war of independence, she began to resist the political implications of writing in French and shifted the focus of her creative expression to visual art. She became a painter. But it was with her participation in the poets’ movement against the war in Vietnam that she began to write poetry and became, in her words, “an American poet”. In 1972, she moved back to Beirut and worked as cultural editor for two daily newspapers—first for Al Safa, later for L’Orient le Jour. She stayed in Lebanon until 1976. In 1977, her novel Sitt Marie-Rose was published in Paris, and won the “France-Pays Arabes” award. This novel has been translated into more than 10 languages, and was to have an immense influence, becoming a classic of War Literature. In 1977, Adnan moved back to California, making Sausalito her home, with frequent stays in Paris.
Etel Adnan, is the patron of the project Art of Ageing. Her play “Irgendwann in der Nacht” (At a certain hour of the night), which was produced by the Staatstheater Karlsruhe and premiered on October 17th 2013, constituted the prologue to the project.
Etel Adnan chose to write about the oneness of love. Two lovers meet after years of separation, they talk about their past, their memories, the time that is now lost.