Pietro Bartolo was born in Lampedusa sixty years ago to a family of fishermen and grew up working on his father's boat. He returned to Lampedusa after getting his medical degree, and has been running the clinic since 1991.
Sacha Batthyány was born in Switzerland in 1973 to Hungarian émigré parents. He was an editor at the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and is now a political reporter for the Süddeutsche Zeitung, based in Washington DC.
Quentin Blake was born in 1932. He went to Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School before studying English at Downing College, Cambridge. After National Service he did a postgraduate teaching diploma at the University of London, followed by life-classes at Chelsea Art School.
He is known for his collaboration with writers such as Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, Michael Rosen, and Roald Dahl, as well as creating much-loved characters of his own, including Mister Magnolia and Mrs Armitage.
His books have won numerous prizes and awards, including the Whitbread Award, the Kate Greenaway Medal, the Emil/Kurt Maschler Award and the international Bologna Ragazzi Prize. He won the 2002 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Illustration, the highest international recognition given to creators of children's books.
Described by The Guardian, as 'a national institution', in 1999 he was appointed the first ever Children's Laureate, a post designed to raise the profile of children's literature.
James Buchan is the author of several novels, including A Parish of Rich Women, which won the 1984 Whitbread Book of the Year award, and Heart's Journey in Winter which won the Guardian prize. He is also an outstanding literary critic and non-fiction writer whose works include a biography of Adam Smith, Frozen Desire: An Enquiry into the Meaning of Money and Captial of the Mind.
Massimo Ciancimino was born in Palermo in 1963. He is the youngest son of Vito Ciancimino, and was barely eighteen when he was chosen by his father to be his aide and therefore initiated directly into the double life of the 'Mayor of the Corleones': a world that he was part of until his arrest on the 6th June 2006. Francesco La Licata is a journalist who has written for the Stampa since 1980. He recently collaborated with the national anti-mafia prosecutor, Pietro Grasso, to write Pizzini, veleni e cicoria: La mafia prima e dopo Provenzano (Feltrinelli 2008). N.S. Thompson is a poet, critic, and translator of Italian. Born in Manchester, he now lives and works in Oxford, UK, where he teaches literature at Christ Church.
Ken Jones is from Shropshire. He is a former soldier who served with the Parachute Regiment and various elements of UK Special Forces. Ken is a motivational speaker as well as an avid outdoorsman, mountaineer, competitive road cycle racer and founder of Avalanche Events. He lives in San Diego and Brecon, Wales.
Tobias Jones is the author of four non-fiction books, Blood on the Altar, The Dark Heart of Italy, Basilitica and Utopian Dreams; and the Castagnetti crime trilogy, The Salati Case, White Death and Death of a Showgirl. He has worked as a journalist in Britain for the London Review of Books, the Independent on Sunday and the Observer; and in Italy, producing two political documentary series for the Italian state broadcaster RAI 3. He lives at Windsor Hill Wood in Somerset with his wife and three children where he runs a working farm refuge.
Axel Lindén was born in 1972. He lives with his family at their farm in Östergötland county in the southeast of Sweden. On Sheep is his debut.
Born in 1974 in Montpellier in France, Mathias Malzieu is an established bestselling writer, as well as the lead singer of French pop group Dionysos. His international bestseller The Boy with the Cuckoo-Clock Heart has sold over 1 million copies around the world, and was turned into an animated feature film by Luc Besson. He has written 4 other novels. He has been described by Iggy Pop as 'Francois Truffaut with a rock 'n' roll band'.
Judith Newman is the author of You Make Me Feel Like an Unnatural Woman. She is a columnist for the New York Times Book Review and a regular contributor to the New York Times Style Section. She writes a humour column for Prevention, and also writes for National Geographic, Allure, Vanity Fair and many other publications. She and her sons live in Manhattan.
Cees Nooteboom was born in The Hague in 1933, and now lives in Amsterdam and on the island of Minorca. He is a poet, a novelist and a travel writer whose books include Rituals (1983), The Following Story (1994), Roads to Santiago (1997) and All Souls' Day (2001).
Daniel Pennac was born in 1944 in Morocco. He was a teacher before becoming a writer of books for children and a series of hugely successful humorous novels. A continued interest in education and social affairs led to his book The Rights of the Reader, and thereafter to School Blues, for which he won the Prix Renaudot.
Katie Piper is a TV presenter and charity campaigner. In 2008 she survived an attack and her moving, BAFTA-nominated Channel 4 documentary Katie: My Beautiful Face was watched by 3.5 million viewers and shown in more than 15 countries. Katie founded her own charity, The Katie Piper Foundation, to help people living with burns and scars and she has received numerous awards and accolades for her charity work, including a prestigious Woman of the Year Award. She is now a presenter on Channel 4 and the author of six books: Confidence, Beautiful, Beautiful Ever After, Things Get Better, Start Your Day with Katie and From Mother to Daughter publishing in March 2018. Keep up to date with Katie! Twitter @KatiePiper_Instagram @katiepiper_ www.facebook.com/katiepiperofficialwww.katiepiperandyou.co.uk
Chil Rajchman was born in Lodz in Poland, and was an active member of his Jewish community. After the Treblinka trials he emigrated to Uruguay, where he died in 2004. Solon Beinfeld taught Modern European and Jewish History at Washington University in St. Louis and he has written and consulted extensively on the Holocaust. He is currently editing a new Yiddish-English dictionary.
Eva Rice has written three novels and one non-fiction book. She is married to a musician and has three children. She lives in London.
Award winning photographer, filmmaker and writer Lalage Snow has covered conflict and unrest since 2007 after finishing a Masters degree with Distinction in photojournalism at London College of Communication. Her personal projects have been published and exhibited to critical acclaim around the world and have been featured on the Channel 4, BBC, CNN and Al Jazeera. She has also given a number of public talks at literary festivals, museums and academic institutions including MIT. A series of short films made in Afghanistan are currently on display at the Smithsonian, the worlds largest museum complex.
Peter Stanford's previous investigations into the history, theology, enduring appeal and cultural significance of religious ideas include Martin Luther: Catholic Dissident; Judas: The Troubling History of the Renegade Apostle; The Devil - A Biography; Heaven - A Traveller's Guide to the Undiscovered Country; and The She-Pope, an investigation of the Pope Joan legend. His other books include biographies of Bronwen Astor, Lord Longford and the Poet Laureate, C Day-Lewis, plus the polemical Catholics and Sex that became an award-winning Channel 4 series in 1992. He is a senior features writer at the Daily and Sunday Telegraph titles, and contributes to the Independent, the Observer, the Daily Mail and the Catholic weekly, the Tablet, where he is a columnist. He has presented programmes on BBC 1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, as well as BBC Radios 2 and 4 and the BBC World Service.
Lidia Tilotta is a journalist of RAI Regional News and of Mediterraneo.
Lol Tolhurst is a musician, performer and writer. He is best known as a founding member of the band that virtually invented alternative music, The Cure. Formed in 1976, The Cure is one of the most influential, successful and critically acclaimed bands of its generation.As The Cure's drummer Lol toured the globe many times over, supporting the ground-breaking albums 'Three Imaginary Boys', 'Seventeen Seconds', 'Faith' and 'Pornography'. He took on keyboard duties in the mid-eighties until his departure from the band in 1989, at the time of their masterwork 'Disintegration'.In the early nineties Lol relocated to Southern California where he continues to write, record and tour with his own band Levinhurst. More recently, 2011 saw a momentous reunion tour with his former band mates and Lol performed with The Cure for the first time in over twenty years.
Massimo Vacchetta is the chairman of The Hedgehog Home, an association whose mission is the protection of hedgehogs and their environment. He is also the founder of a shelter and rehabilitation centre for hedgehogs. He lives in Northern Italy, where he is a veterinarian specializing in the care of cattle. Antonella Tomaselli is a journalist, author, environmentalist and lover of animals.