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Amin Maalouf was born in Beirut. He studied economics and sociology and then worked as an international reporter until the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975. Maalouf and his family decided to leave their country and settled in Paris in 1976, where he became editor in chief for the newspaper Jeune Afrique. He published his first book, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes, in 1983. In 1993, The Rock of Tanios, his fifth novel, won the Prix Goncourt, the most prestigious literary award in France. Maalouf is a member of the Académie Française and in 2010 was awarded the Prince of Asturias Award for Literature for his entire oeuvre. His work has been translated into 50 languages and his most recent bestselling novel to be published in English is The Disoriented.

Christine Otten (1961), writer, performer and theatre maker, is driven by a commitment to social issues; her novels are always inspired by real people or actual events. The Last Poets, her much-deserved literary breakthrough, was nominated for the Libris Literature Prize, has been adapted for the stage and was translated into English. The multifaceted Otten regularly performs at literary festivals and in theatres, is the co-founder and presenter of a literary variety show, and creator of the theatre-project Prison Monologues. She teaches creative writing to prisoners. One of Us is her latest novel.