Suleika Jaouad (pronounced: su-LAKE-uh ja-WAD) is a 23-year-old writer, adventurer and cancer thriver. She is the author of the weekly New York Times series ‘Life, Interrupted,’ which chronicles her journey with cancer. A video series accompanies the column.
A triple citizen, she hails from New York, Tunisia and Switzerland. Suleika graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a B.A. in Near Eastern Studies and certificates in French and Women & Gender Studies. Since graduation, she has been battling an advanced form of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) which, by the time it was diagnosed, had turned into acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Suleika is currently undergoing a bone marrow transplant (her 21-year-old brother, Adam, is her donor). She provides advice and a listening ear to people who are affected by life-threatening illnesses.
Suleika Jaouad’s interests have brought her around the world. As part of her undergraduate scholarship, she conducted field research on women’s rights in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Palestine. Her work culminated in her prize-winning thesis, “From the Patriarchal Family to the Patriarchal State: The ‘Woman’s Question’ in Contemporary Tunisian History.” One recent summer she worked for Oxfam and the African Union in Ethiopia. After college, she interned for the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, before moving to Paris, where she worked in international arbitration.
Suleika studied the double bass at Juilliard as a teenager. She speaks Arabic and French. She’s saving up to buy a pair of “petrol” Doc Marten combat boots to compliment her new post-chemotherapy mohawk. As a 10-year-old, Suleika ran a hamster-breeding business. She is currently listening to a lot of Sam Cooke, the Black Keys, and Mahler.
Once she is in recovery, Suleika aspires to write a book, adopt a puppy, and throw lavish dinner parties for her incredible friends.
You can follow me on Twitter here or email me with questions, thoughts, stories, and advice at:
secretsofcancerhood [at] gmail [dot] com
All questions involving press, publicity, and other inquiries should go to my literary agent, Susan Ginsburg:
sginsburg [at] writershouse [dot] com