Richard Beard’s six novels include Lazarus is Dead, Dry Bones and Damascus, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In the UK he has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. His latest novel, Acts of the Assassins was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize in 2015. He is also the author of four books of narrative non-fiction. Formerly Director of The National Academy of Writing in London, he is a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo, and has a Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia.