Participating Authors

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Paul AusterPaul Auster is a writer, film director, and poet. The author of fourteen novels, including most recently the forthcoming Man in the Dark. Winner of the Prince of Asturius Prize for Literature in 2006 and Prix Médicis Etranger in 1993, he is a Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Auster lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, the writer Siri Hustvedt.

John BaxterJohn Baxter is an acclaimed film critic and biographer. His subjects have included Woody Allen, Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick and Robert De Niro. He is the author of A Pound of Paper: Confessions of a Book Addict, and the memoir We'll Always Have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light. Born in Australia, he now lives in Paris.

Alain de BottonAlain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in 1969 and now lives in London. He is a writer of essayistic books, which refer both to his own experiences and ideas - and those of artists, philosophers and thinkers. It's a style of writing that has been termed a 'philosophy of everyday life.' His books include Essays in Love, How Proust Can Change Your Life, The Consolations of Philosophy, Status Anxiety and The Architecture of Happiness.

Veronica BuckleyVeronica Buckley was born in New Zealand. Studies in humanities, music, and computing led to her work in diverse fields from orchestras to the oil industry. After doctoral research at Oxford, she turned to full-time writing. She is the author of Christina, Queen of Sweden and Madame de Maintenon: The Secret Wife of Louis XIV. She lives in Vienna with her husband, writer Philipp Blom.

Carolyn BurkeCarolyn Burke's Lee Miller, A Life, was a New York Times Notable Book for 2006. Burke befriended the legendary photojournalist while conducting research for her previous biography, Becoming Modern: The Life of Mina Loy. Her many articles and translations from the French have appeared in Vogue, Art In America, The New Yorker, PN Review, Pink and Poetry Flash. She is currently writing a life of Edith Piaf, to be published by Alfred Knopf. Born in Sydney, she lives in Santa Cruz, California and spends part of each year in Paris.

Jung ChangJung Chang was born in Yibin, China, in 1952. During the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) she worked as a peasant, a 'barefoot' doctor, a steelworker, and an electrician before becoming an English-language student and, later, an assistant lecturer at Sichuan University. She left China for Britain in 1978 and was subsequently awarded a scholarship by the University of York, where she obtained a PhD in Linguistics in 1982. Her award-winning memoir, Wild Swans, was published in 1991. Together with her husband Jon Halliday, she is the author of the biography: Mao: The Unknown Story.

Susannah ClappSusannah Clapp is the theatre critic of The Observer and of BBC Radio 3's Nightwaves. She has worked as an editor and reader at Jonathan Cape and helped found the London Review of Books, where she was assistant editor for several years. She is the author of With Chatwin: Portrait of a Writer. She lives in London.

Béatrice CommengéBéatrice Commengé is the translator into French of Anaïs Nin and Kete Millett. She has published notably La Danse de Nietzsche (1988), the biography Henry Miller, ange, clown, voyou (Plon 1991), L'Homme immobile (1998), Et il ne pleut jamais, naturellement (2003; Cazes Prize). She regularly contributes to many literary reviews (L'Infini, L'Arc, Cahiers de l'Herne, Légendes, Hors Jeu, L'Art du Bref, Ligne de Risque, L'Atelier du Roman) and travel writing reviews (Grands Reportages). Her latest work, En face du Jardin (2007), recreates six days in Paris in the life of Rainer Maria Rilke.

Rachel CuskRachel Cusk was born in 1967 and is the author of six novels. Her work has won the Whitbread First Novel and Somerset Maugham awards; her most recent novel, Arlington Park, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her memoir A Life's Work: On Becoming a Mother was published to huge acclaim in 2001. In 2003 she was chosen as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists. She lives in Brighton.

Luke DaviesLuke Davies is the Australian author of three novels, the cult bestseller Candy, Isabelle the Navigator and his recent novel, God of Speed. He has also written numerous books of poetry. Of these, Running With Light won the 2000 Judith Wright 'Calanthe' Poetry Prize at the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, and Totem won the Grace Leven Poetry Prize, The John Bray Poetry Prize, the Age Poetry Book of the Year and overall Age Book of the Year in 2004. The same year Davies was awarded the Philip Hodgins Memorial Medal for Poetry. He adapted Candy for screen, with director Neil Armfield. The film version stars the late Heath Ledger, Abbie Cornish and Geoffrey Rush, and was released to critical acclaim.

Alicia DrakeAlicia Drake's The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris was published in 2006. A former fashion journalist, she has lived and worked in Paris for the last 13 years.

Victoria GlendinningVictoria Glendinning is the award-winning biographer of Leonard Woolf, Anthony Trollope, Elizabeth Bowen, Edith Sitwell, Vita Sackville-West, Rebecca West and Jonathan Swift. Her previous novels, The Grown-Ups and Electricity, were critical and commercial successes. She is a past President of English PEN and a Vice-President of the Royal Society of Literature. She lives in Somerset.

A.C. GraylingA.C. Grayling is one of Britain's leading intellectuals. He is the author of the best-selling The Meaning of Things, The Reason of Things and most recently The Mystery of Things. He is a columnist for The Times and a regular contributor to the Financial Times, The Observer, Independent on Sunday, Economist, Literary Review, New Statesman and Prospect, and a frequent and popular contributor to radio and television. He was a Man Booker judge in 2003, is a Fellow of the World Economic Forum and an advisor on many committees. He is the author of Descartes: The Life and Times of a Genius.

Anton GillAnton Gill worked for the English Stage Company, the Arts Council of Great Britain, and the BBC before becoming a full-time writer in 1984. He has written more than twenty books, mainly in the field of contemporary history, including The Journey Back from Hell: Conversations with Concentration Camp Survivors (winner of the H. H. Wingate Award), A Dance Between Flames: Berlin Between the Wars, An Honourable Defeat: A History of the German Resistance to Hitler and Peggy Guggenheim: Life of an Art Addict.

A.M. HomesA.M. Homes is the author of five novels, two collections of short stories, a travel volume and the internationally acclaimed memoir, The Mistress's Daughter. Her fiction has been translated into twenty languages and she is the recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship and a National Endowment For the Arts Fellowship. A writer/producer of the hit television show The L Word, she is currently developing her own series for HBO and is also currently Treasurer of The Pen American Center in New York and active on the Board of Directors of Yaddo, The Writers Room, and Poets and Writers.

Sir Alistair HorneSir Alistair Horne was born in London and educated in Switzerland and Cambridge. Part of MI5 in WWII, he was later foreign correspondant The Daily Telegraph from 1952-5. His books have been translated into over 10 languages and he has been awarded various prizes including Hawthornden (for The Price Of Glory) and Wolfson (for A Savage War Of Peace). He is also the author of The Seven Ages of Paris. He has a Doctor of Literature from Cambridge and founded the Alistair Horne Research Fellowship in Modern History at Oxford. Alistair was awarded Chevalier, Légion d'Honneur and was knighted in 2003 (Queen's birthday honours) for services to Franco-British relations.

Siri HustvedtSiri Hustvedt is the author of Reading To You, a poetry collection, two books of essays, Mysteries Of The Rectangle: Essays On Painting and A Plea For Eros, as well as four novels, The Blindfold, The Enchantment of Lily Dahl, the international bestseller, What I Loved, and most recently, The Sorrows of an American (2008). Her work has been translated into twenty-nine languages. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Ian JackIan Jack is a writer and editor. From 1995 to 2007 he edited the literary magazine Granta and from 1991 to 1995 the Independent on Sunday, of which newspaper he was a co-founder. He began his career as a journalist on newspapers in Scotland and for sixteen years worked at the Sunday Times as a reporter, editor and foreign correspondent, mainly in the Indian Subcontinent. He has reviewed books for many periodicals, including the New York Times and the London Review of Books. His own books are Before the Oil Ran Out (1987) and The Crash That Stopped Britain (2001). He writes a weekly column for the Guardian.

Alan JenkinsAlan Jenkins's poetry collections are In The Hot-House; Greenheart; Harm, winner of the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year); The Drift, a Poetry Book Society Choice, shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize; The Little Black Book; A Short History of Snakes: New and Selected Poems; A Shorter Life (Poetry Book Society Recommendation); and Drunken Boats. He received an Eric Gregory Award in 1981 and a Cholmondeley Award in 2006, and was shortlisted for the 2005 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year) with A Shorter Life. He is Deputy Editor of the TLS and has taught creative writing in London, Paris and the USA.

André KaspiAndré Kaspi, one of the best specialists of contemporary America, proposes a trip through amercian society. A Professor of History at the Sorbonne (University-Paris 1) he has notably published Les Américains (two volumes), Franklin Roosevelt, La Guerre de Sécession, Kennedy, La Peine de Mort aux États-Unis.

Tété-Michel KpomassieTété-Michel Kpomassie was born in Togo and subsequently left his native Africa and traveled to the north of Greenland in a journey that lasted ten years. An African in Greenland, an autobiography that chronicles his journey, was awarded the Prix Littéraire Francophone International in 1981 and its English translation was one of The New York Times' Notable Books of the Year in 1983. Kpomassie has also written numerous articles and short stories for French publications.

Jake LamarJake Lamar is the author of the memoir Bourgeois Blues and five novels: The Last Integrationist, Close to the Bone, If Six Were Nine, Rendezvous Eighteenth and most recently Ghosts of Saint-Michel. Several of his books have been translated into French. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, he graduated from Harvard University and then spent six years writing for Time magazine. In 1993, he went to Paris intending to stay for a year; he now lives there full-time with his wife.

Hermione LeeHermione Lee is the first woman Goldsmiths' Professor of English at Oxford University. Her books include the internationally acclaimed biography, Virginia Woolf, Willa Cather, and Body Parts: Essays on Life-writing. She is also a well-known critic, and was the Chair of the Judges for The Man Booker Prize, 2006.

Shiv MalikShiv Malik started his career in investigative journalism working for the New Statesmen. He has since gone on to write for the Observer, the Sunday Times, and Prospect Magazine amongst others. In broadcast he has worked extensively for the BBC and Channel 4 News. He is regularly asked to give comment about terrorism related matters on radio; The world at one, PM, The Moral Maze and TV; Sky News, Channel 4 News and Newsnight. He resides in London and is writing a biography on a British terrorist. Most recently Shiv went to the High Court in London to defend himself against having to disclose his sources for the book to the Greater Manchester Police. He is of Indian decent, was born in the US but has lived in the UK since age six.

Catherine MilletCatherine Millet is editor of the magazine Art press which she founded in 1972. She curated the French section of the 1989 Sao Paulo Biennale and the French Pavilion at the 1995 Venice Biennale. She is the author of numerous books on art, notably L'Art contemporain (1997) and Dali et Moi (2005). In 2001 she published her memoir The Sexual Life of Catherine M. which sold 650 000 copies in France and became an international best-seller. She lives in Paris.

Blake MorrisonBlake Morrison has written fiction, poetry, journalism, literary criticism and libretti, as well as adapting plays for the stage. His best-known works are his two memoirs, And When Did You Last See Your Father? which has been made into a film starring Colin Firth and Jim Broadbent, and Things My Mother Never Told Me. Since 2003, Blake has been Professor of Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths' College.

Amélie NothombAmélie Nothomb, Belgian by nationality, was born in Kobe, Japan, and currently lives between Bruxelles and Paris. Since her first novel Hygiène de l'assassin (1992), she has a large following. Fear and Trembling (1999) sold several 100 000 copies and won the Grand Prix of the Académie Française. She is the best-selling author of sixteen novels, translated into over thirty languages. Her latest novel, Ni d'Ève ni d'Adam (2007) won the Prix de Flore.

William PfaffWilliam Pfaff is a contributor to The New York Review of Books and has been an internationally syndicated columnist for The International Herald Tribune for many years. Between 1971 and 1992 his 'Reflections' on international politics and society were regularly published in The New Yorker magazine. He has published eight books on contemporary history. His most recent one, The Bullet's Song, deals with violence and romanticism. He is currently working on a book about secular political utopianism and the current international crisis. He lives in Paris.

Darryl PinckneyDarryl Pinckney's writing has been recognised for its daring, its eloquence, and its ties to the African-American literary past. His first novel, High Cotton, an autobiographical examination of a young writer's journey from the Midwest to expatriate Paris, was published in 1992. Pinckney's most recent book, Sold and Gone, reviews the African-American literary tradition through the writings of Charles Chesnutt, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ishmael Reed, and Toni Morrison. Pinckney has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for fiction. He also received the Harold D. Vursell Award for Distinguished Prose from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1994. Pinckney was a Hodder Fellow at Princeton and has taught in the Afro-American Studies department at Harvard and in the School of Arts at Columbia, where he was educated.

Marjane SatrapiMarjane Satrapi was born in 1969 in Iran in a progressive family and now lives in Paris. In 2000, she started publishing Persepolis, an autobiographical comic strip where she describes her childhood in Iran and her teenage years in Europe and which was highly acclaimed (award in Angoulême, "Comic strip of the Year" award at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2004). More than 400 000 copies of the four volumes have been sold in France and more than one million in the whole world (especially in the United States). Persepolis was translated into twenty languages. In 2007, Satrapi adapted Persepolis for the big screen in collaboration with Vincent Parronaud. This movie was a great success, received the Jury's award at the 60th Cannes Film Festival and has now been presented in numerous international festivals. Marjane Satrapi also published Broderies (2003) and Poulet aux Prunes (Best Comic strip award in Angoulême in 2005).

André SchiffrinAndré Schiffrin was, for thirty years, the publisher of Pantheon Books, where he published some of the world's leading writers, including Noam Chomsky, Michel Foucault, Eric Hobsbawm, Art Spiegelman, Simone De Beauvoir, Studs Terkel and Marguerite Duras. In 1990 Schiffrin left Pantheon to found The New Press, and many of those writers came with him. He is the author of the acclaimed study of the book industry, The Business of Books. His intellectual memoir, A Political Education, was published last year in New York and Paris (as Allers-retours). André Schiffrin divides his time between Paris and New York.

Diana SouhamiDiana Souhami is the author of many widely acclaimed books, and she has also written plays for radio and television. She won the Whitbread Biography Award for Selkirk's Island. She lives in the UK.

Jeanette WintersonJeanette Winterson OBE, whose writing has won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel, the John Llewellyn Rhys Memorial Prize and the E. M. Forster Award, is the author of some of the most purely imaginative and pleasurable novels of recent times, from Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit to her first book for children, Tanglewreck. She is also the author of the essays Art Objects. Her latest book is The Stone Gods.