Rodaan Al Galidi is a poet and writer. Born in Iraq and trained as a civil engineer, he has lived in the Netherlands since 1998. As an undocumented asylum seeker he did not have the right to attend language classes, so he taught himself to read and write Dutch. His novel De autist en de postduif (“The Autist and the Carrier Pigeon”) won the European Union Prize for Literature in 2011—the same year he failed his Dutch citizenship course. The Leash and the Ball is Al Galidi’s latest novel. His previous book, Two Blankets, Three Sheets, is also published by World Editions. Both titles are bestsellers in the Netherlands.