Samir El-Youssef is Palestinian and was born in Rashidia, a refugee camp in Lebanon. He writes fiction, essays and reviews. His book, Gaza Blues, co-authored with Etgar Keret, received wide acclaim. He has been living in London since 1990. The Illusion of Return is his first novel in English. He won the Tucholsky Award for promoting the cause of peace and freedom of speech in the Middle East.