Iraqi novelist Azher Jirjees was born in Baghdad and began working as a journalist in 2003. In 2005, his life took a sharp turn when he published his satirical Terrorism…Earthly Hell. Reception of the book led to an assassination attempt, and Azher Jerjis fled Iraq. He went to Norway and published two satiric short-story collections, Above the Country of Blackness (2015) and The Sweetmaker (2017). His first novel, Sleeping in the Cherry Field, came out 2019, and it tells the story of an Iraqi postman working in Oslo who writes satiric short stories, but who is crushed by the death of his beloved Tuna Janssen. An urgent letter recalls him from his grief-stricken isolation to Baghdad, where he is kidnapped by an armed militia. Jirjees’s debut novel was longlisted for the 2020 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and he is currently working on a new novel.