John Banville was born in Wexford in 1945 and now lives in Dublin. For a time, he worked for Aer Lingus, an opportunity that enabled him to travel widely. He then worked for a number of years as a journalist with the Irish Press newspaper, and, from 1988, as literary editor of the Irish Times.
His first book, Long Lankin, was published in 1970 (revised edition, Gallery Books, 1984). He has published thirteen novels: Nightspawn, Birchwood, Doctor Copernicus, Kepler, The Newton Letter, Mefisto, The Book of Evidence, which was short-listed for the 1989 Booker Prize and which won the 1989 GPA Award, Ghosts, Athena, The Untouchable, Eclipse, Shroud, The Sea (winner of the 2005 Booker Prize) and The Infinities.
He also publishes crime novels under the pseudonym Benjamin Black. Other awards include the Allied Irish Banks Prize, the Macauley Fellowship, the American-Irish Foundation Literary Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Guardian Prize and the Guinness Peat Aviation Award.
Recent awards include the Franz Kafka Prize in 2011 and the 2013 Irish PEN Award for Outstanding Achievement in Irish Literature.
The Gallery Press has published Long Lankin, Nightspawn and his versions of plays by Heinrich von Kleist, The Broken Jug (1994), God’s Gift (2000) and Love in the Wars (2005). Conversation in the Mountains, a special limited edition radio play, with drawings and paintings by Donald Teskey was published in 2008.