Tahar Ben Jelloun was born in Fez in 1944 and pursued studies in philosophy. Doctor of social psychiatry and novelist, he has published nearly 15 books including L’Enfant de sable (English title: The Sand Child) in 1985, La Nuit sacrée (English title: The Sacred Night), which was awarded the Prix Goncourt in 1987, and Cette aveuglante absence de lumière (English title: This Blinding Absence of Light), which won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2001.
He has recently published Jean Genet, menteur sublime and the play Beckett et Genet, un thé à Tanger (Gallimard). Also an author of textbooks, he published Le Racisme expliqué à ma fille (English title: Racism Explained to My Daughter) in 1998 and L’Islam expliqué aux enfants (English title: Islam
Explained) in 2002.
Some of his books have been translated into 43 languages. A writer of poetry, his poems were published by “Poésie Gallimard” (2007). He writes for several newspapers including Le Monde, La Repubblica and Espressov