Ronit Matalon (1959-2017) was the author of nine novels and a liberal social activist. The daughter of Egyptian immigrants to Israel, she worked as a journalist for the newspaper Haaretz and reported from the West Bank and Gaza. Her last book, And the Bride Closed the Door, was awarded Israel’s prestigious Brenner Prize, the day before Matalon’s death at age 58.
Piero Chiara (1913-1986) was a leading Italian author of the twentieth century who won over a dozen literary prizes and whose work is marked by psychological depth, melancholy humor and a grasp of the essence of everyday life. The Bishop’s Bedroom is the most celebrated of his many acclaimed novels.
Margriet de Moor made her fiction debut in 1988 after pursuing a career as a classical singer. She has written many novels including The Virtuoso, The Kreuzer Sonata, The Storm and The Duke of Egypt. Her work has been translated from Dutch into twenty-four languages.
Ersi Sotiropoulos has written fifteen books of fiction and poetry. Her work has been translated into many languages, and has been twice awarded Greece’s National Book Prize as well as her country’s Book Critics’ Award and the Athens Academy Prize. What’s Left of the Night won the 2017 Prix Méditerranée Étranger in France.
Philippe Costamagna is a specialist in sixteenth-century Italian painting and director of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Ajaccio, Corsica. He is the author of a book on the Florentine Renaissance painter Pontormo.
Edgardo Franzosini, born in 1952 near Lake Como, is the author of five novels. The Animal Gazer won two distinguished Italian literary awards in 2016, the Premio Comisso and the Premio Dessi. He lives in Milan.
Anna Maria Ortese (1914-1998) is one of the most celebrated and original Italian writers of the 20th century. Neapolitan Chronicles brought her widespread acclaim in her native country when it was first published in 1953 and won the prestigious Premio Viareggio.
Clara Beaudoux is a Paris-based journalist for the France Info news network. The Madeleine Project has been wildly popular in France. You can follow her on Twitter at @Clarabdx.
Igiaba Scego is an Italian novelist and journalist. She was born in Rome in 1974 to Somali parents who took refuge in Italy following a coup d’état in their native country, where her father served as foreign minister.
Charif Majdalani, born in Lebanon in 1960, is often likened to a Lebanese Proust. Majdalani lived in France from 1980 to 1993 and now teaches French literature at the Université Saint-Joseph in Beirut. The original French version of his novel Moving the Palace won the 2008 François Mauriac Prize from the Académie Française as well as the Prix Tropiques.
Alexis Ragougneau is a playwright and The Madonna of Notre Dame is his first novel. He has worked in Notre Dame Cathedral helping monitor tourist crowds and knows well its infinite secrets and the forgotten souls who linger in its darkest corners.
Salvatore Settis is an archaeologist and art historian who has been the director of the Getty Research Institute of Los Angeles and the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa. He is chairman of the Louvre Museum’s Scientific Council and author of several books on art history as well as a regular contributor to major Italian newspapers and magazines.
Klaus Wivel is a Danish journalist who has been the New York correspondent for Weekendavisen, one of Denmark’s most prestigious newspapers. He has written on a wide range of topics, with a focus on Israel-Palestine and the Middle East.
Alexander Pschera, born in 1964, has published several books on the Internet and media. He studied German, music and philosophy at Heidelberg University. He lives near Munich where he writes for the German magazine Cicero as well as for German radio.
Sergei Lebedev was born in Moscow in 1981 and worked for seven years on geological expeditions in northern Russia and Central Asia. Lebedev is a poet, essayist, and journalist. His novels have been translated into twenty languages and have received great acclaim in the English-speaking world. The New York Review of Books has hailed Lebedev as “the best of Russia’s younger generation of writers.”
Martin Suter, born in Zurich in 1948, is a novelist, screenwriter and newspaper columnist. He has written a dozen novels, many of them best-sellers in Europe and translated into 32 languages. Suter lives with his family in Zurich.
Jonathan Barrow was born in 1947, north of London. His promising career as a writer and artist was cut short when he was killed at age twenty-two in a car crash alongside his fiancée, two weeks before they were to be married. The manuscript was discovered in Barrow’s office drawer the day after his death.
Jean-Philippe Blondel was born in 1964 in Troyes, France, where he lives as an author and English teacher. His novel The 6:41 to Paris has been acclaimed in both the United States and Europe.
Yitzhak Gormezano Goren was born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1941 and immigrated to Israel as a child. A playwright and a novelist, Gormezano Goren has an MFA in theater directing from Brooklyn College. He cofounded the Kedem Stage Theater in Tel Aviv in 1982 and directed it for thirty years. Gormezano Goren is a winner of the Ramat Gan Prize for Literature and received the Israeli Prime Minister’s Prize for Literature in 2001.
Andrzej Bursa was born in 1932 in Krakow, Poland, and died twenty-five years later of a heart attack. In his brief lifetime he composed some of the most original Polish writing of the 20th century. Killing Auntie is his only novel. His brilliant career and tragic early death established him as a cult figure among restless and disenchanted youth.
Dominique Fabre, born in 1960, writes about people living on society’s margins. He is a lifelong resident of Paris. His previous novel, The Waitress Was New, has also been translated into English.
Milena Michiko Flašar was born in 1980, the daughter of a Japanese mother and an Austrian father. She lives in Vienna. I Called Him Necktie won the 2012 Austrian Alpha Literature Prize.
Marjana Gaponenko was born in 1981 in Odessa, Ukraine. She fell in love with the German language as a young girl, and began writing in German when she was sixteen. She has a degree in German studies from Odessa University. Who is Martha? is her second novel and was awarded the Adelbert von Chamisso Prize in 2013. She has also published volumes of poetry and lives in Vienna and Mainz.
Marek Hlasko, known as the Polish James Dean, made his literary debut in 1956 with a short story collection. Born in 1934, Hlasko was a representative of the first generation to come of age after World War II, and he was known for his brutal prose style and his unflinching eye toward his surroundings. In 1956, Hlasko went to France; while there, he fell out of favor with the Polish communist authorities, and was given a choice of returning home and renouncing some of his work, or staying abroad forever. He chose the latter, and spent the next decade living and writing in many countries, from France to West Germany to the United States to Israel. Hlasko died in 1969 of a fatal mixture of alcohol and sleeping pills in Wiesbaden, West Germany, preparing for another sojourn in Israel. Besides Killing the Second Dog, his translated works include the novels Eighth Day of the Week, All Backs Were Turned, Next Stop – Paradise, and The Graveyard, and a memoir, Beautiful Twentysomethings.
Pitigrilli was the pseudonym of Dino Segre, born in Turin in 1893 to a well-to-do Jewish father and a Catholic mother. He worked as a foreign correspondent in Paris during the 1920s, and under his pen name became equally celebrated and notorious for a series of audacious and subversive books that were translated into sixteen languages. His works are imbued with a sense of amorality; Pitigrilli himself was accused of serving as an informant to the fascist authorities under Mussolini. Il Duce defended the writer against accusations of perversity, saying: “Pitigrilli is right … he photographs the times. If society is corrupt, it’s not his fault.” Pitigrilli fled Italy after the German occupation, living in Switzerland and Argentina, but returned to Turin and converted to Catholicism before his death in 1975.