Born in 1954 in Tokmok, Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov is an Uzbek journalist and writer who was forced to flee Uzbekistan in 1992 due to what the state dubbed ‘unacceptable democratic tendencies’. He came to the United Kingdom, where he took a job with the BBC World Service where he worked for 25 years. His works are banned in Uzbekistan. Several of his Russian-original novels have been published in English translation, including The Railway, The Dead Lake, which was long listed for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and The Underground. The Devils’ Dance is the first of his Uzbek novels to appear in English, and the translation by Donald Rayfield and John Farndon won the 2019 ERBD Literature Prize. His second book published by Tilted Axis Press is Of Strangers and Bees, about an Uzbek writer in exile who traces the fate of the medieval polymath Avicenna.