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Maaza Mengiste was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. A Fulbright Scholar and professor in the MFA in Creative Writing & Literary Translation programme at Queens College, she is the author of The Shadow King, a finalist for The Booker Prize. Her previous work, Beneath the Lion’s Gaze, was named one of Ten Best Contemporary African Books by The Guardian. Her work can be found in the New YorkerGranta, and the New York Times among other publications. She lives in New York City.

Priya Basil was born in London to a family with Indian roots and grew up in Nairobi. She is an author and essay-writer whose work has been nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. She is the co-founder of Authors for Peace, a political platform for writers and artists. She lives in Berlin.