Born in Afghanistan in 1962, Atiq Rahimi fled to France in 1984. There he has made a name as a writer, film and documentary maker of exceptional note. The film of his first novel, Earth and Ashes, was in the Official Selection at Cannes, 2004. Since 2001, he has returned to Afghanistan many times to set up a Writers' House in Kabul and offer support and training to young writers and film-makers. His novel The Patience Stone won the Prix Goncourt, France's most prestigious literary prize. He lives in Paris.