Zeinab Belail was born in 1947 in the Sudanese town of Sinja. She has held various posts in the Sudanese literary and cultural scene––including the chair of the Cultural Forum for Literary Criticism and a member of the Female Writers Association––and has sat on several literary award committees. She has also been the chairwoman of the Khartoum Businesswomen’s Association. Belail has published five novels since 1984. Her third and most critically acclaimed novel is Nabat Al-Sabbar (The Cactus Plant), for which she won the Sudanese Martyr Al-Zubair Muhammad Salih Prize.