A philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, Boris Akunin published his first detective stories in 1998 and has already become one of the most widely read authors in Russia. His Erast Fandorin books, full of literary games and allusions, are translated into English by Andrew Bromfield. In December 2011, Akunin abandoned work on his current novel to become one of the figureheads of the opposition protests. After taking part in a rally in Bolotnaya Square, he wrote in his blog, “I never thought I would speak at a rally. It’s hard to imagine anything more alien to my whole temperament.”
Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow. Akunin is also co-founder of the non-political League of Voters campaign group.
James Meek was born in London and grew up in Scotland. His fifth novel, The Heart Broke In, was published in 2012. His novel The People's Act of Love won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, the SAC Book of the Year Award, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and has been published in more than thirty countries. His novel We Are Now Beginning Our Descent won the Prince Maurice Prize. During the 1990s he lived in Kiev and Moscow. His journalism has won a number of British and international awards, including Foreign Correspondent of the Year at the British Press Awards. He is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books. He lives in Bethnal Green, east London. (MDGentleReader)