Shokoofeh Azar was born in Iran in 1972, just seven years before the Islamic revolution. Despite spending most of her childhood and early career in a hostile environment for independent writing, Shokoofeh’s interest in writing and art was sparked by her father who was an Iranian intellectual, author, poet and artist. She studied literature at high school and university, later working as a journalist for an independent newspaper for fourteen years.
Following an increasing crackdown on independent journalism, Shokoofeh was jailed three times, the last time being three months in isolation, which left her no choice but to flee her country by boat, ending up on Christmas Island. Shokoofeh was ultimately accepted as a political refugee by the Australian government, and settled in Perth, where she continued her writing and gained a reputation as an artist with a number of successful exhibitions. She now lives in Geelong, Victoria. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree is Azar’s first novel to be translated into English.