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Patricia Volk is the author of the memoir Stuffed: Adventures of a Restaurant Family and four works of fiction. She was a toddler when her mother began wearing ‘Shocking’ perfume by Elsa Schiaparelli and ten years old when she came across Schiaparelli’s autobiography in her mother’s library. She closed the book’s covers transformed... A recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Volk has taught at Columbia University, NYU and Bennington and has written for numerous publications. She lives in New York.
François-Marie Arouet, writing under the pseudonym Voltaire, was born in 1694 into a Parisian bourgeois family. He became notorious for lampoons on leading notables and was twice imprisoned in the Bastille. By his mid-thirties his literary activities precipitated a four-year exile in England where he won the praise of Swift and Pope for his political tracts. His publication, three years later in France, of Lettres philosophiques sur les Anglais (1733), an attack on French Church and State, forced him to flee again. For twenty years Voltaire lived mainly away from Paris. Among his best-known books are satirical tales such as Zadig (1747) and Candide (1759). He died in Paris in 1778.
As a child in the Soviet Union, Anya von Bremzen was the granddaughter of the former head of Naval intelligence, and thus a bona fide member of the nomenklatura. She was also the daughter of a disaffected dissident, a child actress and a piano prodigy. Then, because of political repression, she and her mother fled to America and Anya reinvented herself as one of the most accomplished food writers of her generation: the author of five acclaimed cookbooks, the recipient of three James Beard awards, and a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure magazine. She divides her time between New York City and Istanbul.
Carl Phillip Gottfried (or Gottlieb) von Clausewitz (1780-1831) was a Prussian soldier and intellectual. His writings and book "On War," expounded the philosophy of war and had enormous effect on military strategy, and remain essential reading for all interested in military history and national security.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was a Prussian naturalist and explorer. Between 1799 and 1804, von Humboldt travelled South and Central America, exploring and describing it from a scientific point of view for the first time.
Dr Genevieve von Lob is a clinical psychologist who has worked with families from every type of background during a 10-year career spanning private practice, NHS Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and work for local authorities. She has been widely quoted in the media, including in the Telegraph, Financial Times, Top Santé and Grazia, and featured as a consultant therapist in an episode of Channel Four’s Dispatches. She lives in southwest London and enjoys playing piano and singing in her spare time. www.drvonlob.com
Ferdinand von Schirach was born in Munich in 1964. Today he works as one of Germany's most prominent defence lawyers in Berlin. His short story collections Crime and Guilt became instant bestsellers in Germany and are translated in over thirty territories.
Kurt Vonnegut was born in Indianapolis in 1922 and studied biochemistry at Cornell University. An army intelligence scout during the Second World War, he was captured by the Germans and witnessed the destruction of Dresden by Allied bombers, an experience which inspired his classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five. After the war he worked as a police reporter, an advertising copywriter and a public relations man for General Electric. His first novel Player Piano (1952) achieved underground success. Cat's Cradle (1963) was hailed by Graham Greene as 'one of the best novels of the year by one of the ablest living authors'. His eighth book, Slaughterhouse-Five was published in 1969 and was a literary and commercial success, and was made into a film in 1972. Vonnegut is the author of thirteen other novels, three collections of stories and five non-fiction books. Kurt Vonnegut died in 2007.
Carol Vorderman is the bestselling author of a series of Detox and Sudoku titles. She has been the numbers face of Countdown with the late Richard Whiteley for over two decades and a popular TV-presenting personality in her own right. She was awarded an MBE in 2000.
Chris Voss spent 24 years working for the FBI, culminating in him becoming the bureau's lead international hostage negotiator. In 2007 he left the organisation and, realising that the skills he had acquired were more widely applicable, began teaching negotiation skills at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business. He has also taught courses at Harvard Law School and is the head of the Black Swan Group, a consulting firm that leads businesses through difficult negotiations.
Louise Voss has been in the music business for ten years, working for Virgin Records and EMI, and then as a product manager for an independent label in New York. More recently she has been Director of Sandie Shaw's company in London. She lives in south west London, and has one daughter. Louise Voss is the author of three previous novels, To Be Someone, Are You My Mother? and Lifesaver, all published by Black Swan.
Phil Votel is the author of Sureforce, available from Idol.
JANCIS ROBINSON is one of the world's best-known wine writers. In 1984 she was the first person outside the wine trade to qualify as a Master of Wine. The Financial Times wine writer, she is the author/editor of dozens of wine books, including two of the most respected and garlanded, The Oxford Companion to Wine (OUP) and The World Atlas of Wine (Mitchell Beazley). She is widely regarded by the wine-drinking public as an authority on vine varieties. Her award-winning website, www.JancisRobinson.com, has subscribers in 100 countries. JULIA HARDING passed the notoriously stiff Master of Wine exams at the first attempt, the top student of her year. She is Jancis Robinson's full-time researcher, co-ordinator and associate palate. In this book she has gathered the most up-to-date statistics about wine-grape plantings in every corner of the planet as well as unearthing recommended wine producers for almost every variety. JOSÉ VOUILLAMOZ, who worked with Professor Carole Meredith and the ground-breaking team of grape geneticists at the University of California at Davis, is a botanist and grape geneticist with an international reputation and is currently based in his native Switzerland. He has discovered numerous unexpected relationships between grape varieties, many of which are exclusive to this book.
Tom Vowler is an award-winning novelist and short story writer living in south-west England. His debut collection, The Method, won the Scott Prize in 2010 and the Edge Hill Readers’ Prize in 2011, while his novels, What Lies Within and That Dark Remembered Day, received critical acclaim. He is editor of the literary journal Short Fiction and an associate lecturer in creative writing at Plymouth University, where he completed his PhD.
Dr Aaron Carroll and Dr Rachel Vreeman are both medical doctors and academics, specializing in children's health-care research.
Van Tran and Anh Vu began their first street-food stall in Broadway Market in 2009. BanhMi11 now has stalls across London markets, including Broadway and Berwick Street. They opened their first shop in 2012 and host a series of regular pop-up dinners. http://www.banhmi11.com/. Born in Vietnam, both spent their childhoods in Hanoi. Van moved to Sweden with her family aged 12, and Anh moved to England by herself aged 17. They met while studying at Oxford University. They have appeared on Jamie’s Great Britain and Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries. The live in East London.
Ed Vulliamy is a journalist and writes for the Guardian and Observer. For his work in Bosnia, Italy, the US and Iraq he has won a James Cameron Award and an Amnesty International Media Award and has been named International Reporter of the Year (twice) and runner-up at the Foreign Press Association Awards. In 1996 he became the first journalist to ever testify at an international crimes court, at the International Criminal Tribunal for former Yugoslavia. A believer in the duty of journalists to testify in matters of humanitarian law, he has since lectured extensively on the subject. Twitter: @edvilliamy.com
Shirley Hughes (Author) Shirley was born in West Kirby, near Liverpool, and studied fashion and dress design at Liverpool Art School, before continuing her studies at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in Oxford. She then embarked on a career as a freelance illustrator in London, where she still lives today. She illustrated other writers' work, including Noel Streatfeild, Alison Uttley, Ian Seraillier, Margaret Mahy and notably Dorothy Edwards's My Naughty Little Sister series. Shirley began to write and draw her own picture books when her children were young. Her first book - Lucy and Tom's Day - was published in 1960, and she followed it with, among others, Dogger and the Alfie series. Shirley Hughes has won the Other Award, the Eleanor Farjeon Award, and the Kate Greenaway Medal for Illustration twice, for Dogger in 1977 and for Ella's Big Chance in 2003. In 2007 Dogger was voted the public's favourite Greenaway winner of all time. Shirley received an OBE in 1999 for services to Children's Literature, and a CBE in 2017. She is the first recipient of Booktrust's Lifetime Achievement Award. Clara Vulliamy (Illustrator) Clara was born in Notting Hill, and studied at Chelsea School of Art, The Ruskin in Oxford, and The Royal Academy. She began her career by doing illustrations in newspapers and magazines, and started doing books for children when she had children of her own. Clara lives in Twickenham with her husband and two grown-up children.
Ocean Vuong was a Ruth Lilly fellow and winner of a Pushcart Prize, and has received honours and awards from Poets House and the Academy of American Poets. Night Sky with Exit Wounds won the 2016 Whiting Award in the States, and the 2017 Forward Prize for Best First Collection and the T.S. Eliot Prize in the UK. He teaches at Amherst College, Massachusetts.
Bharti Vyas is one of the UK's leading beauty therapists. She is a qualified beauty therapist, acupuncturist and Ayurveda practitioner. The author of six books, she has developed the Ultimate Therapy Skincare system. She is regularly featured on radio and television programmes and in the national press and women's magazines. She has two centres in Marylebone, London. Bharti is also the skincare consultant for Tesco and has helped to develop their highly acclaimed 'Skin Wisdom' range.
Jools Holland is a virtuoso pianist, bandleader, television presenter, architectural eccentric and music enthusiast. He was awarded an OBE in 2003 for his services to the British music industry. He lives in Kent.
Tim Vyner lives with his wife and children in Bath. He teaches art at Bath Spa University College.
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