RONAN BENNETT was born in Belfast in 1956 and now lives in London. Wrongly imprisoned in Long Kesh in his youth, he went on to take a first in History at King's College, London, before going on to complete his doctoral thesis in 1987. The author of non- fiction books on miscarriages of justice, as well as a prize- winning memoir and several screenplays, his first novel was The Second Prison (shortlisted for the 1991 Irish Times/Aer Lingus prize). This was followed by Overthrown By Strangers, The Catastrophist (shortlisted for the Whitbread Novel Award) and most recently Havoc, in its Third Year (longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2004 and winner of the Hughes & Hughes/Sunday Independent Irish Novel of the Year award). "In Ronan Bennett's engrossing and coolly lyrical new novel, true heroism lies in a reluctance to participate in fundamentalist blood-letting rites" - Times Literary Supplement. He has written screenplays for film and television, including Rebel Heart and The Hamburg Cell. He is an occasional contributor to the Guardian, Observer and other newspapers and magazines.
RACHEL SEIFFERT was born in England in 1971 and now lives in London. She worked as an editor and project co-ordinator for a Glasgow- based film funding scheme while writing The Dark Room, her first novel which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, won the LA Times First Novel Award and a Betty Trask Award. Rachel Seiffert was chosen as one of Granta's Best of Young British Novelists 2003. Her collection of short stories Field Study was published in March 2004, and, like Ronan Bennett's Havoc, in its Third Year, was chosen as one of Eileen Battersby's Books of the Year of 2004 in The Irish Times.