Arnon Grunberg (b. 1971) debuted at the age of 23 with the novel Blauwe maandagen (Blue Mondays, 1994), a wry and humorous coming-of-age novel which brought him instant success. Figuranten (Silent Extras, 1997) and Fantoompijn (Phantom Pain, 2000) cemented his reputation among readers and critics alike as a bold new voice and a great writer. Some of his other titles are De asielzoeker (The Asylum Seeker, 2003) and De joodse messias (The Jewish Messiah, 2004). Grunberg also writes plays, essays and travel columns. His work has won him several literary awards, among which the AKO Literature Prize for Fantoompijn and De asielzoeker, and both the Libris Literature Prize and the Flemish Golden Owl Award for Tirza (2006). Under the pseudonym Marek van der Jagt he published the successful novels De geschiedenis van mijn kaalheid (The Story of my Baldness, 2000) and Gstaad 95-98 (2002), as well as the essay Monogaam (Monogamous, 2004). Arnon Grunberg lives and works in New York. While researching Goede mannen (Good Men), he was embedded with a fire crew, stayed at a monastery and took a romance tour to Ukraine.