Alia Mamdouh is an Iraqi writer and novelist, born in 1944. She studied Psychology and graduated from Mustansiriyah University, Baghdad, in 1971. For more than ten years, she edited the weekly Baghdad paper Al-Rasid. After leaving Baghdad in 1982, she lived in various cities. In 1973, Mamdouh published a short story collection entitled Overture for Laughter and this was followed by eight novels, some of which have been translated into English, French, Italian and Spanish. Her most well-known novel is Naphtalene (1986), which was translated into nine languages and taught to students at the Sorbonne University for two years.