Arnon Grunberg (b. 1971) debuted at the age of 23 with the novel Blauwe maandagen (Blue Mondays, 1994), which describes the world of prostitution with wry humour and was an instant success. His next two novels, Figuranten (Silent Extras, 1997) and Fantoompijn (Phantom Pain, 2000), strengthened both the readers’ and the critics’ conviction that he is 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.