Orhan Pamuk was born in Istanbul in 1952. From his early childhood until the age of 22, he always dreamed of becoming an artist. His father, grandfather and uncle were prominent engineers in Turkey and wanted Orhan to follow in their family occupation.
He did study architecture for 3 years in the hope that he could combine both engineering and architectural design as a career. His disappointment with this decision led him to drop out and pursue a career in journalism. He studied journalism for only short while but decided at the age of 23 that he wanted to be a writer.
Orhan's decision to become an author proved to be the right path for his artistic and creative expression. He has published numerous books such as Snow, Museum of Innocence, and The White Castle. He has been awarded numerous, prestigious awards such as the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006.
Leila Aboulela was born in 1964 in Sudan but writes in English. In 1990 she moved to Aberdeen, Scotland and started writing as she was raising her children. She was awarded the Caine Prize for African Writing, in 2000, for her short story, The Museum.
Her first novel,The Translator, was nominated for the Orange Prize and was chosen by the New York Times as a notable book in 2006. Her second novel, Minaret, was nominated for the Orange Prize and the IMPAC Dublin Award.