Born in Iraq in 1965, Dunya Mikhail worked as a journalist for the Baghdad Observer. Facing increasing threats from the Iraqi authorities, she fled first to Jordan, then to the United States. In 2001, she was awarded the UN Human Rights Award for Freedom of Writing. Mikhail’s translator Elizabeth Winslow won a 2004 Pen Translation Fund Award for her first book in English, The War Works Hard, which was shortlisted for the Griffin Prize and was named one of the twenty-five books to remember by the New York Public Library in 2005. New Directions also published Mikhail’s Diary of A Wave Outside the Sea, which won the 2010 Arab American Book Award for poetry.