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Muriel Spark was born in Edinburgh in 1918. A poet, essayist, biographer and novelist, she won much international praise, including being twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize. The Times placed her eighth in its list of the Fifty Greatest British Writers Since 1945. She died in Tuscany in 2006. Joseph Kanon is the internationally bestselling author of eight novels, which have been published in twenty-four languages. The Good German was made into a film starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett. Before becoming a full-time writer, Kanon was a book publishing executive. He lives in New York City with his wife and two sons.