From the International Prize for Arabic Fiction official biography and book description:
Hisham al-Khashin is an Egyptian civil engineer and novelist, born in 1963. His first published work was a collection of short stories entitled Very Egyptian Stories (2010), followed in 2011 by two novels: What is Behind the Doors and Seven Days of Tahrir, both of which have been made into television series. In 2012, he published his third novel, Adam the Egyptian, and another collection of short stories, Duet, in 2013.
Graphite takes place in Egypt during the 1920s, a tumultuous time which saw the formation of the Muslim Brotherhood and the birth of the Egyptian women’s movement. The story focuses on Nawal, an artist struggling to be free within an oppressive, and increasingly reactionary, society. Her life changes when she meets Doria Shafik, a historical figure known for being one of the leaders of the women’s liberation movement. Despite initial jealousies, the two begin a powerful friendship, and Nawal soon finds herself swept up in the larger struggle for women’s rights.