Samir El-Youssef is Palestinian and was born in Rashidia, a refugee camp in Lebanon. His essays and reviews have appeared in Guardian, New Statesman, Washington Post, Jewish Quarterly as well as the Arabic Al-Hayat. He has been living in North London since 1990. In 2005 he won the Tucholsky Award for promoting the cause of peace and freedom of speech in the Middle East. The Illusion of Return is his first novel in English.