Iris Eliya-Cohen was born in 1969 in the Upper Galilee to parents from Cochin, India. She graduated in occupational therapy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and also studied the plastic arts - sculpture, drawing and pottery. At the same time, Eliya-Cohen established an independent children's theater, writing, directing and producing its shows. She wrote Maktub, her first novel, in 2007, during her maternity leave for her youngest son. It was published to critical and popular acclaim and has been awarded the Ministry of Culture Prize (2011) the Ramat Gan Prize for debut book (2012) and the Prime Minister's Prize (2016).