Youssef Fadel is a novelist, playwright and screenwriter, born in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1949. During the so-called ‘Years of Lead’ in Morocco, he was imprisoned in the notorious Moulay al-Sheriff prison between 1974 and 1975. He has published a number of plays and novels. His first play, The Barber in the Poor District, was made into a film directed by Mohamed al-Rakab in 1982. His novel Hashish (2000) won the Grand Atlas Prize in 2001. His ninth novel, A Rare Blue Bird that Flies with Me (2013), was IPAF-shortlisted in 2014 and won the Moroccan Book Prize in the same year.