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Nicholas Shakespeare was born in 1957. The son of a diplomat, much of his youth was spent in the Far East and South America. His novels have been translated into twenty languages. They include The Vision of Elena Silves, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, Snowleg and The Dancer Upstairs, which was chosen by the American Libraries Association in 1997 as the year's best novel, and in 2001 was made into a film of the same name by John Malkovich. His recent novel, Secrets of the Sea, was a best-seller in Germany. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is married with two small boys and currently lives in Oxford.