Allan Massie is the author of seventeen highly praised novels, as well as non-fiction works on Muriel Spark, a study of twelve emperors of ancient Rome, a history of crime in 19th-century Edinburgh and the acclaimed Glasgow: Portraits of a City. Born in Singapore in 1938, he was brought up in Aberdeenshire and educated at Glenalmond School and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he read history. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and has been a judge of the Booker Prize. He is also a journalist contributing to the Scottish and English press. He is married, has three children and lives in the Scottish Borders.
Stephen Mitchell is a bestselling translator. His translation of Gilgamesh sold over 800,000 copies in the States and was described by Harold Pinter as 'a revelation'. He also received great acclaim for his translations of the Bhagavad Gita, the Tao Te Ching, Rilke's Sonnets to Orpheus and the Book of Job. He was educated at Amherst College, the Sorbonne and Yale University.