Related to: 'The Visitors' Book'

Anna Seghers

ANNA SEGHERS (1900-1983) was born Netty Reiling in Mainz, Germany, into a Jewish family. In 1924 she received a doctorate in Art History from the University of Heidelberg, and in the same year her first story, written under the name Antje Seghers, was published. During this time, she came into contact with many left-wing intellectuals, including her husband, a Hungarian economist, and began writing in earnest. By the end of 1928, Anna Seghers had joined the Communist Party, given birth to two children and was awarded the Kleist Prize for her first novel, The Revolt of the Fishermen of St Barbara.As Jew, a Communist and a revolutionary writer, she was blacklisted in Nazi Germany and left for France in 1933 with her family. After the Nazi invasion in 1940, she was forced to flee again and, with the aid of Varian Fry, she and her family sailed from Marseilles to Mexico on a ship that included Victor Serge, André Breton and Claude Lévi-Strauss among its passengers.Seghers gained international recognition with The Seventh Cross (1942), which became a bestseller. It was the basis for the 1944 MGM film starring Spencer Tracy and was one of the only depictions of Nazi concentration camps during the Second World War in either literature or film. It has been translated into more than thirty languages.After the war Seghers moved to East Berlin, where she became a prominent figure of East German letters, actively championing the work of younger writers from her position as president of the Writers Union. Among Seghers' internationally acclaimed works are The Seventh Cross; Transit (1944); Excursion of the Dead Girls (1945); The Dead Stay Young (1949); and the story collection Benito's Blue (1973).

Asne Seierstad

Åsne Seierstad was born in 1970 and studied Russian, Spanish and the History of Philosophy at Oslo University. An internationally bestselling author, she has also received numerous awards for her journalism. She has worked as a war correspondent across the world, including Russia, China, Iraq and Afghanistan. Her second book, The Bookseller of Kabul, has sold over two million copies and the paperback was in the Sunday Times top ten for over a year. Her other critically acclaimed works include A Hundred and One Days: A Baghdad Journal and The Angel of Grozny. Following the atrocities in Oslo and Utoya in July 2011, she attended the trial of Anders Breivik and then began work on One of Us, which became a European bestseller. All of Åsne Seierstad's books are published by Virago.

Charles Stross

Charles Stross is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of seven Hugo-nominated novels and winner of three Hugo awards for best novella, two of which are part of the Laundry Files series, Stross's works have been translated into over twelve languages. As the owner of degrees in pharmacy and computer science, he graduated as the world's only academically qualified cyberpunk writer just as cyberpunk died. Today he describes his job as telling lies for money and tormenting his imaginary friends. Follow his blog at http://www.accelerando.org/ and his Twitter feed at @cstross.

Clare Clark

Clare Clark is the author of five highly acclaimed historical novels, including The Great Stink, Savage Lands (both longlisted for the Orange Prize) and The Nature of Monsters. Born in 1967, she graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge with a double first in History, and now lives in London with her husband and two children.

David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.

Deborah Rodriguez

Deborah Rodriguez spent five years teaching at and later directing the Kabul Beauty School, the first modern beauty academy and training salon in Afghanistan. She also owned the Cabul Coffee House, and is now a hairdresser and a motivational speaker. Deborah currently lives in Mexico where she owns the Tippy Toes Salon. To learn more about her visit www.debbierodriguez.com

Derek Wilson

DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

Elaine Dundy

Elaine Dundy was born in New York. As an actress she worked in Paris and London and then became a writer. She has written plays, biographies and novels including the bestselling THE DUD AVOCADO, her first novel.

James Hogg

James Hogg is a ghostwriter and biographer specialising in sport and entertainment. His works include the biography of actor and explorer Brian Blessed, Formula One legend Johnny Herbert, and comedian Ernie Wise of Morecambe and Wise fame. James lives in Yorkshire with his wife and two children.

James Peill

James Peill has been the Curator of the Goodwood Collection since 2009. He was brought up in the Welsh Marches and read History of Art at Edinburgh University. He was formerly a Director of Christie's where he was a specialist in the Furniture Department and an auctioneer.

Maggie Mason

Maggie Mason is a pseudonym of author Mary Wood. Mary began her career by self-publishing on kindle where many of her sagas reached number one in genre. She was spotted by Pan Macmillan and to date has written many books for them under her own name, with more to come. Mary continues to be proud to write for Pan Macmillan, but is now equally proud and thrilled to take up a second career with Sphere under the name of Maggie Mason. A Blackpool Lass is her first in a planned series of standalone books and trilogies set in her home town of Blackpool.Born the thirteenth child of fifteen children, Mary describes her childhood as poor, but rich in love. She was educated at St Peter's RC School in Hinckley and at Hinckley College for Further Education, where she was taught shorthand and typing. Mary retired from working for the National Probation Service in 2009, when she took up full time writing, something she'd always dreamed of doing. She follows in the footsteps of her great-grandmother, Dora Langlois, who was an acclaimed author, playwright and actress in the late nineteenth - early twentieth century. It was her work with the Probation Service that gives Mary's writing its grittiness, her need to tell it how it is, which takes her readers on an emotional journey to the heart of issues.

Mark van Vugt

Mark van Vugt is Professor of Evolutionary, Work and Organizational Psychology at VU University, and research associate at Oxford University. He is the author of the international success Leadership (2011), and a regular contributor to national and international media channels such as the BBC, Channel Four, ABC, CNN, Nature, New Scientist, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Van Vugt is also consulting editor of various psychology journals.

Matthew Crow

Matthew Crow was born and raised in Newcastle. Having worked as a freelance journalist since his teens he has contributed to a number of publications including the Independent on Sunday and the Observer. He has written for adults and YA. His book My Dearest Jonah, was nominated for the Dylan Thomas Prize.

Maya Angelou

Dr Maya Angelou was one of the world's most important writers and activists. Born 4 April 1928, she lived and chronicled an extraordinary life: rising from poverty, violence and racism, she became a renowned author, poet, playwright, civil rights' activist - working with Malcolm X and Martin Luther King - and memoirist. She wrote and performed a poem, 'On the Pulse of Morning', for President Clinton on his inauguration; she was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama and was honoured by more than seventy universities throughout the world.She first thrilled the world with I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969). This was followed by six volumes of autobiography, the seventh and final volume, Mom & Me & Mom, published in 2013. She wrote three collections of essays; many volumes of poetry, including His Day is Done, a tribute to Nelson Mandela; and two cookbooks. She had a lifetime appointment as Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University of North Carolina. Dr Angelou died on 28 May 2014.

Michele Roberts

Half-English/half-French, Michèle Roberts was born in 1949. DAUGHTERS OF THE HOUSE (1992) was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the W.H. Smith Literary Award. She has just been appointed Professor of Creative Writing at UEA.

Michelle Morgan

Michelle Morgan is a full-time writer living in Northampton whose work has been featured in a number of magazines. Morgan has written nine books to date, including four on the topic of Marilyn Monroe which have sold tens of thousands of copies in countries all over the world.

Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom is an internationally bestselling author, screenwriter, playwright, and award-winning journalist. He is the author of six consecutive number one New York Times bestsellers and has sold over thirty-five million copies of his books in forty-five languages worldwide, including Tuesdays with Morrie, which is the bestselling memoir of all time.Albom also works as a columnist and broadcaster and has founded eight charities in Detroit and Haiti, where he operates an orphanage. He lives with his wife, Janine, in Michigan.

Nicholas Murray

Nicholas Murray was born in Liverpool in 1952. He has written acclaimed biographies of Bruce Chatwin, Matthew Arnold and the poet Andrew Marvell. He is married and lives in the Welsh Marches.

Nicholas Sparks

With over 105 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world's most beloved storytellers. His novels include thirteen number one New York Times bestsellers. All Nicholas Sparks' books have been international bestsellers and have been translated into more than fifty languages. Eleven of his novels have been adapted into major films - The Longest Ride, The Best of Me, Safe Haven, The Lucky One, The Last Song, Dear John, Nights in Rodanthe, Message in a Bottle, A Walk to Remember, The Notebook and The Choice. For all the latest news from Nicholas Sparks, sign up for his e-Newsletter at www.nicholassparks.com, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @NicholasSparks.

Nigel Cawthorne

Nigel Cawthorne is the author of a number of successful true crime and popular history books. His writing has appeared in over 150 newspapers, magazines and partworks - from the Sun to the Financial Times, and from Flatbush Life to The New York Tribune. He lives in London.