Shokoofeh Azar was born in Iran seven years before the Islamic revolution. Shokoofeh's early interest in literature and art developed into a successful career in writing and art in Iran, including 14 years as an independent journalist. Her 'Companion in Writing and Editing Essays', written in Farsi, won The Best Book in Iran award in 1997.
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 in 2011 but to flee her country by boat, ending up on Christmas Island. She was accepted as a political refugee by Australia. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree, also written in Farsi, is her first novel to be translated into English. The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree was shortlisted for the 2018 Stella Prize. It is also being re-released in Farsi.
The transcript of Shokoofeh's interview will be published as soon as possible.