Writer and filmmaker, Atiq Rahimi was born in 1962, in Kabul. When the soviets invaded Afghanistan he left the country and sought refuge in France, where he settled in 1985. He finished his PhD in Cinema at the Sorbonne, and later he produced seven documentaries for French television as well as a few TV commercials.

Atiq Rahimi presented his first literary project in 2000, Terre et Cendres (Earth and Ashes), which was an immediate hit in Europe and South America. Based on that novel, he directed the film with the same title, winning a total of 25 awards in various cinema festivals, in particular the Prix du Regard vers l’Avenir at the Cannes Film Festival, in 2004.

In 2002, following the fall of the Taliban regime, Rahimi returned to Afghanistan after eighteen years of exile and photographed the city of Kabul. Six of those pictures were purchased by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. In that same year, he published Les Mille Maisons du rêve et de la terreur (A Thousand Rooms of Dream and Fear) and, three years later, Le Retour Imaginaire.

His fourth novel, Syngué Sabour. Pierre de Patience, the first one to be written directly in French, which was awarded the Goncourt prize, the most prestigious literary award in France. According to the author, choosing French instead of his mother tongue was a way to escape the “involuntary self-censorship” he feels when writing in Persian. Syngué Sabour tells the story of a woman whose husband was wounded during the war and became paralysed. Rahimi directed the adaptation to cinema of his book, from a script he co- authored with Jean-Claude Carrière. The film Syngué Sabour. Pierre de Patience (The Patience Stone) in 2012, starring the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani, was selected by Afghanistan for the nominations for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in the 85th edition of the Academy Awards.

In 2011, he published Maudit soit Dostoïevski (A Curse on Dostoevsky) which was also edited in Portugal, just as his previous books.