Moussa Ould Ebnou was born in Boutilimit, Mauritania, in 1956. He earned his PhD at the Sorbonne in Paris and is a philosophy professor at the University of Nouakchott in Mauritania. His first novel, L'amour Impossible, was published in Paris in 1990 and his second, Barzakh, in 1993. He has since written several novels and collections of short stories in French and has translated many of them into Arabic.
He began his professional career in 1984 as a consultant for the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office (UNSO) based in New York. He also served as an advisor for more than fifteen years to the Presidency of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, and has directed several state companies.
July Blalack’s passion for the diverse literatures of Mauritania started in 2015 after attending the festival Traversées Mauritanides in the capital city of Nouakchott. Her history of Mauritanian novels was then published in The Oxford Handbook of Arab Novelistic Traditions in 2017. She has reviewed several Mauritanian books for ArabLit.org, and is now applying for grants to translate Mauritanian science fiction novels into English. July is also in the final stages of a doctoral program at SOAS, University of London, and her academic article "Hidāyat man ḥārā fī amr al-Naṣāra: the Western Sahara's Missing Witness at the International Court of Justice?" won the Mark Tessler Graduate Student Paper Prize in 2020. You can follow July on Twitter at @JulyBlalack.