Author Tayeb Salih was born in northern Sudan in 1929. He studied at the University of Khartoum and the University of London. He was one of the best known and most translated Arabic novelists of the 20th century. His works include Season of Migration to the North and The Wedding of Zein. He was also a broadcaster for the BBC Arabic Service, wrote a weekly column for the London-based Arabic language newspaper al Majalla, and worked at the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris. He died from complications related to a kidney condition on February 18, 2009.
LAILA LALAMI was born and raised in Morocco. Her work has appeared in the Baltimore Review, the Los Angeles Times, the Independent, the Nation, and elsewhere. She is the creator and editor of the literary blog www.moorishgirl.com. She lives in Portland, Oregon.