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Hamid Ismailov, regarded as a man of 'unacceptably democratic tendencies' in Uzbekistan, was forced to flee his homeland, and so came to London in 1992. He was recruited by the BBC World Service to set up its Central Asia Service. He has published many books both in Russia and in Uzbekistan. The Railway and A Poet and Bin-Laden are the only two to have been translated into English.
Julie Israel did a lot of telling stories before she ever figured out how to write them: around the campfire, in grade school parodies, at meals where she had to account for the peas that mysteriously vanished from her plate, but did not end up in her stomach. She didn't try writing a book until high school, and didn't finish one until after she had graduated college, taught English in Japan, tutored, written freelance, begun volunteering, and completed her first secret mission as a spy. Okay, she was never a spy. She's still telling tales. It's one of her favourite things to do from her native Portland, Oregon, where she really does enjoy making art, learning, and sometimes vegetables.
Antonio Iturbe lives in Spain, where he is both a novelist and a journalist. In researching The Librarian of Auschwitz, he interviewed Dita Kraus, the real-life librarian of Auschwitz. Lilit Zekulin Thwaites is an award-winning literary translator. After thirty years as an academic at La Trobe University in Australia, she retired from teaching and now focuses primarily on her ongoing translation and research projects. Dita Kraus was born in Prague. In 1942, when Dita was thirteen years old , she and her parents were deported to Ghetto Theresienstadt and later to Auschwitz,. Neither of Dita's parents survived. After the war Dita married the author Otto B. Kraus. They emigrated to Israel in 1949, where they both worked as teachers They had three children. Since Otto’s death in 2000 , Dita lives alone in Netanya. She has four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Despite the horrors of the concentration camps, Dita has kept her positive approach to life.
Kristen Iversen teaches creative writing at the University of Memphis, where she lives with her two sons.
Rukmini Iyer is a food stylist and food writer, formerly a lawyer. She loves creating new recipes and making food look beautiful for shoots, and when she's not styling, cooking or entertaining, she can usually be found reading by the riverside, or filling her balcony with more plants than it can hold. Follow her on Instagram @missminifer.
David Quantick is an Emmy Award-winning writer of television (Veep, The Thick of It, Brass Eye) and radio (One, The Blagger’s Guide). He is also the author of the comic novel Sparks, the comic book That’s Because You’re A Robot, and several short films, including the award-winning Welcome to Oxmouth. A script writer, broadcaster and comedy writer, David once appeared on Celebrity Come Dine With Me, where he came fifth out of five. He has been named one of the #AmazonRisingStars 2016.
Kim Izzo is the arts/features director at Flare magazine. She has been a frequent contributor to various newspapers and magazines including The Globe and Mail (Canada's national newspaper) Style and Fashion magazine. Ceri Marsh is editor-in-chief of Fashion Magazine and editorial director of Fashioin 18 Magazine. Her articles have appeared frequently in The Globe and Mail newspaper, Toronto Life Magazine and Flare Magazine. Friends since college, Izzo and Marsh's first book together, The Fabulous Girl's Guide to Decorum is published by Corgi Books. They also launched www.thefabulousgirl.com. They have appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, and live in Toronto, Canada, where the book was a massive bestseller.
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