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Helen Oxenbury has charmed generations of children with her award-winning illustrations. She has won the Kate Greenaway medal and the Kurt Maschler Award and her numerous books include We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
Rosemary Gasson works as a property consultant to support her two felines: Waldo the Chief Inspector, an accident prone, 17lb Maine Coon; and Bronte, a one-part pedigree and three-parts miscellaneous moggie. Andrew Gasson, her brother, is an optometrist as well as a published author on such diverse subjects as Wilkie Collins and contact lenses. Andrew is like a Dutch uncle to all the world's felines, and feels that all cats should aspire to become members of the Feline Gourmet Society - where they can enjoy the world of fine feline eating.
Born in Jerusalem in 1939, Amos Oz was the internationally acclaimed author of many novels and essay collections, translated into over forty languages, including his brilliant semi-autobiographical work, A Tale of Love and Darkness. His last novel, Judas, was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017 and won the Yasnaya Polyana Foreign Fiction Award. He received several international awards, including the Prix Femina, the Israel Prize, the Goethe Prize, the Frankfurt Peace Prize and the 2013 Franz Kafka Prize. He died in December 2018.
Haruki Murakami (Author) In 1978, Haruki Murakami was twenty-nine and running a jazz bar in downtown Tokyo. One April day, the impulse to write a novel came to him suddenly while watching a baseball game. That first novel, Hear the Wind Sing, won a new writers’ award and was published the following year. More followed, including A Wild Sheep Chase and Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, but it was Norwegian Wood, published in 1987, which turned Murakami from a writer into a phenomenon. His books became bestsellers, were translated into many languages, including English, and the door was thrown wide open to Murakami’s unique and addictive fictional universe. Murakami writes with admirable discipline, producing ten pages a day, after which he runs ten kilometres (he began long-distance running in 1982 and has participated in numerous marathons and races), works on translations, and then reads, listens to records and cooks. His passions colour his non-fiction output, from What I Talk About When I Talk About Running to Absolutely On Music, and they also seep into his novels and short stories, providing quotidian moments in his otherwise freewheeling flights of imaginative inquiry. In works such as The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84 and Men Without Women, his distinctive blend of the mysterious and the everyday, of melancholy and humour, continues to enchant readers, ensuring Murakami’s place as one of the world’s most acclaimed and well-loved writers. Seiji Ozawa (Author) Seiji Ozawa served as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra for twenty-nine years, and was music director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Ravinia Festival, and Wiener Staatsoper. With Kazuyoshi Akiyama, he formed the Saito Kinen Orchestra and is the director of the Seiji Ozawa Matsumoto Festival. Ozawa has been deeply involved in musical education through his work with Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, the Ozawa International Chamber Music Academy Okushiga, Seiji Ozawa International Academy Switzerland and as founder of the Seiji Ozawa Music Academy Opera Project, organizations which provide opportunities to outstanding students in Asia and Europe. Among his many honours, Ozawa has been awarded the Officier de la Légion d’Honneur in France, the Japanese Order of Culture, the Kennedy Center Honors, and a Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording. Jay Rubin (Translator) Jay Rubin is the author of Injurious to Public Morals: Writers and the Meiji State and Making Sense of Japanese, and he edited Modern Japanese Writers for the Scribner Writers Series. He has translated into English two novels by the Japanese writer Soseki Natsume, and also Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and after the quake.
Born in 1975, Serdar Ozkan attended Robert College in Istanbul. He completed his university education in the USA and has been a full-time novelist since 2002.
Svenja O’Donnell is an award-winning political correspondent and commentator whose work regularly features on TV and radio. Before covering Brexit for Bloomberg, she worked as a correspondent in Russia. Half-Irish and half-German, she was born and brought up in Paris, and lives in London. Inge's War is her first book.
Alex Hoffler and Stacey O’Gorman’s motto is ‘Follow your dream’. Just a couple of year ago Alex and Stacey quit their 9 to 5 jobs and began their Meringue Girls journey. Now they have a bakery HQ in Broadway Market with a staff of eight, which sells to Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason, Recipease and Harvey Nicholls, as well as fashion events, weddings and their weekly market stall. They run masterclasses rated by the Evening Standard as one of the best in London. They have had a huge media and social media response including numerous TV appearance and over 80,000 Instagram followers. They are in talks to open a franchise in Dubai. They also do weekly food styling for various publications including the Guardian. They live in east London. Alex has a new baby, and Stacey recently got married.
Natalia and Lauren are two sisters from the North of England. In the daytime they edit scripts and design sets, and at night they draw and write together. As children they loved fairytales, animal fables and the stories their Polish grandmother told on snowy nights. Hortense and the Shadow is their first picture book.
John-Paul O'Neill has been writing about Manchester United for a variety of outlets for over twenty years, particularly for the now retired Red Issue fanzine. A founder member and season ticket holder at FC United, he is currently completing a law degree. He has an encyclopaedic and often first-hand knowledge of behind-the-scenes events at both FC and Old Trafford from the last twenty-five years.
Tom O’Neill (Author) Tom O’Neill is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work has appeared in Premiere, New York, The Village Voice and Details. Dan Piepenbring (Author) Dan Piepenbring is an advisory editor for The Paris Review and a contributor to The New Yorker’s website.
Trisha Greenhalgh (Author) Professor Trisha Greenhalgh is a GP and internationally recognised academic who works as a senior professor at the University of Oxford and has appeared on Woman's Hour and The Today Programme. She is the author of over 400 academic papers and 15 textbooks, including the bestselling book How to Read a Paper: The Basics of Evidence-Based Medicine. Liz O’Riordan (Author) Liz O'Riordan is a Consultant Oncoplastic Surgeon who blogs about her experiences as a doctor and patient here: liz.oriordan.co.uk. She has written articles for the Huffington Post, Macmillan, The Pool and Grazia. Her TEDx talk is called ‘Jar of Joy’.
Tara O'Shaughnessey was abused as a child and later fell into a life of crime and prostitution. She is now a university graduate and counsellor, and has dedicated her life to helping ‘fallen women’, walking the streets of cities in South Wales in search of the homeless and down-and-outs. She buys them food and clothes and tries to help them back into society. Tara would like her book to be a source of inspiration to women (and men) who have lost their way in the world, something they can find hope and a way forward from reading.
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