Ibrahim al-Koni was born in 1948 in the desert of the Tuareg, Libya. He grew up there, not learning to read or write Arabic until he was 12 years old. He studied comparative literature at the Gorky Institute in Moscow, and was a journalist in Moscow and Warsaw. He has lived in Switzerland since 1993, and written over 60 novels, short stories, poems and aphorisms, all inspired by the desert. Some works have been translated into 35 languages, including eight into German and six into French. He has four works in English translation: Bleeding of the Stone, translated by May Jayyusi and Christopher Tingley, Interlink/Arris (2004); Anubis, translated by William M Hutchins, AUC Press (2005); The Seven Veils of Seth translated by William M Hutchins, Garnet Publishing (2008), and Gold Dust, translated by Elliot Colla, Arabia Books (2008). He was the winner of the Mohamed Zefzaf Prize for the Arabic Novel in 2005 and the 2008 Sheikh Zayed Award for Literature 2008.