Ibrahim al-Koni was born in the northwest of the Sahara Desert in Libya in 1948 and learned to read and write Arabic at the age of twelve. He has been hailed a magical realist, a Sufi fabulist, and a poetic novelist, and his more than 80 books contain mythological elements, spiritual quests, and existential questions. He has been awarded many literary prizes, including the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Literature, and has been shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. His books have been translated into 35 languages. He currently lives in Salou in Spain.
Elliott Colla is a translator and an associate professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at Georgetown University. His translation of Gold Dust was shortlisted for the Saif Ghobash-Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.