Umberto Eco's first novel, The Name of the Rose (1982), was a huge bestseller which brought him worldwide acclaim. With his subsequent works of fiction, philosophy, literary criticism and semiotics, he has been recognised as one of Europe's finest thinkers. He is currently President of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Humanistici and the University of Bologna.
Jakob Ejersbo was born in Aalborg in 1968. He trained as a journalist, and his breakthrough came with the 2002 novel Northern Powers, which won the Golden Bay prize in 2003. He died in 2008 at the age of forty, after a ten-month battle with cancer. Mette Petersen lives in Kgs Lyngby in Denmark, where she works for a literary agency and as a translator. Previous translations include My Friend Jesus Christ by Lars Husum.
Will Elliott was a struggling 27-year old writer who had lived modestly for the past four years in order to focus his energies on writing. He wrote five manuscripts during this period and was on the brink of giving up on his writing career, when he entered the competition and won the $10,000 prize. He lives in Australia.
Dr Richard Elwes is a writer, teacher and researcher in Mathematics and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Leeds. He contributes to New Scientist and Plus Magazine and publishes research on model theory. Dr Elwes is a committed populariser of mathematics which he regularly promotes at public lectures and on radio. He is the author of Mathematics 1001 published by Quercus.
Leif Enger was born in Minnesota and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio until Peace Like a River was published in 2001 and he became a full-time writer. He is married and lives in Minnesota with his wife and two sons.
JULIAN EVANS wrote and presented the BBC Radio 3 series on the European novel, The Romantic Road, and has won the Prix du Rayonnement de la Langue Française. His most recent book is Semi-Invisible Man: the life of Norman Lewis.