Robert Irwin is a publisher and writer of both fiction and non-fiction. He has published six novels: The Arabian Nightmare, The Limits of Vision, The Mysteries of Algiers, Exquisite Corpse, Prayer Cushions of the Flesh and Satan Wants Me. His works of non-fiction include The Arabian Nights: A Companion (1994), Islamic Art (1997), Night and Horses and the Desert: An Anthology of Classical Arabic Literature (1999), The Alhambra (2004) and For Lust of Knowing: The Orientalists and Their Enemies (2006).
Memoirs of a Dervish is published by Profile in 2011. He was formerly a lecturer in the Department of Mediaeval History in the University of St Andrews. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the London Institute of Pataphysics, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Society of Antiquaries. He is a consulting editor at the Times Literary Supplement and is a Senior Research Associate of the History Department of the School of Oriental and African Studies, London University.