Bahaa Taher was born in 1935 in Cairo, and published his first short story in 1964. After living in Switzerland in the 1980s and 90s, he has recently returned to Egypt and received much literary acclaim. Taher received the State Award of Merit in Literature, Egypt's highest honour for writing, in 1998 and the Italian Giuseppe Acerbi prize for his novel Aunt Safiyya and the Monastery in 2000. Farouk Abdel Wahab teaches Arabic language and literature at the University of Chicago. Among his recent translations from Arabic are Ibrahim Abdel Meguld's The Other Place and No One Sleeps in Alexandria (AUC Press, 1997 and 1999).