Zakariya Tamer, an influential master of the Arabic-language short story, was born in Damascus, Syria, in 1931. His formal schooling was abbreviated and he is largely an autodidact. His works began appearing in the 1960s, and he then worked for a time for Syrian cultural entities. He left Syria in 1981 and has lived in England since. He is known particularly for his many volumes of short stories, which are often reminiscent of folktales or children's stories. His works, however, have a sharp edge and are often a surrealistic protest against political or social oppression and exploitation. See also his collection Tigers on the Tenth Day and Other Stories, translated by Denys Johnson-Davies (Quartet & Interlink Publishing).