Palestinian critic, born in Jerusalem. Since 1963 he has taught at Columbia University, New York. His works of general literary theory, Beginnings (1975) and The World, the Text and the Critic (1983), show the influence of Foucault. His most influential book, Orientialism (1978), shows how Western ‘experts’ have constructed a myth of the ‘Orient’; it is a founding text of modern post‐colonial theory, complemented by the essays collected in Culture and Imperialism (1993). His other roles were as a music critic and public defender of the Palestinian cause. An Edward Said Reader (ed. Moustafa Bayoumi and Andrew Rubin) was published in 2001. See Orientalism.