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About the Author
Iraqi novelist, filmmaker, journalist, and visual artist Mortada Gzar was born in Kuwait in 1982, grew up in Basra, Iraq, and now lives in Seattle, Washington. He earned a degree in petroleum engineering from the University of Baghdad and was later a member of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa. Gzar is the author of four novels, a children's book, and a short-story collection; he has illustrated two books for children. English translations of his work have appeared in Words Without Borders, World Literature Today, and Iraq + 100: The First Anthology of Science Fiction to Have Emerged from Iraq, and his journalism and political cartoons are featured in Arabic newspapers. Gzar's animated films have been featured in international film festivals, his film Language was awarded a grant by the Doha Film Institute, and he created the Seattle Arab Film Festival hosted by the Northwest Film Forum.
William Maynard Hutchins has translated many works of Arabic literature into English, including Return of the Spirit by Tawfiq al-Hakim, The Cairo Trilogy by Nobel laureate Naguib Mahfouz, and The Fetishists by Ibrahim al-Koni. His translation of New Waw by al-Koni won the ALTA National Prose Translation Award for 2015. A three-time National Endowment for the Arts fellow, Hutchins's translations from Arabic have appeared in The Brooklyn Rail, Banipal: Magazine of Modern Arab Literature, and Words Without Borders, as well as elsewhere. He holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Chicago and has taught subjects ranging from English and Arabic to philosophy and religious studies at the Gerard Institute in Sidon, Lebanon; the University of Ghana; the American University in Cairo; and Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.