Malika Moustadraf (1969–2006) was a preeminent arabophone Moroccan writer and one of the forebears of the short story genre in Morocco. She died of kidney disease at the age of thirty-seven, leaving behind a novel (Wounds of the Soul and the Body, 1999) and a collection of short stories (Trente-Six, 2004), which takes its name from the psychiatric wing of the Casablanca hospital. She is celebrated for writing about life in the margins, and the female body and experience. Her work has been compared to that of Mohamed Choukri and her writing style is direct, unfiltered, and steeped in the language of Casablanca’s streets.
Born in London and raised in rural Norfolk, UK, Alice Guthrie is a freelance translator, writer, editor, and researcher who has been studying Arabic formally and informally since 1997, most notably at l’Institut Français d'Etudes Arabes de Damas (now IFPO) in Syria. Her translations have appeared in a broad range of international venues and publications since 2008, recognized with various grants and honors—most recently the Jules Chametzky Translation Prize 2019. Among her ongoing projects is the translation of Moroccan feminist Malika Moustadraf’s complete works, a work of "literary recovery" involving painstaking research into the persecuted writer’s difficult life and controversial early death. As a commissioning editor she is currently compiling the first ever anthology of queer Arabic writing, set to appear in parallel Arabic and English editions in 2021. She also programs the literary strand of London’s biennale Shubbak: A Window on Contemporary Arab Culture, and teaches in the translation studies MA at Exeter University.