Alessandro Baricco, born on 25th January 1958 in Turin, Piedmont, is a popular Italian writer, director and performer. His novels have been translated into a wide number of languages. After receiving degrees in philosophy (under Gianni Vattimo) and piano, he published essays on music criticism: Il genio in fuga (1988) on Gioachino Rossini, and L'anima di Hegel e le mucche del Wisconsin (Hegel's Soul and the Cows of Wisconsin, 1992) on the relation between music and modernity.
He debuted as a novelist with Castelli di rabbia (Lands of Glass) in 1991, followed by Oceano Mare, Novecento, Silk, City, Constellations, Senza sangue, Questa storia, Emmaus and Mr Gwyn. He is also the co-founder of a creative writing school in Turin, named Scuola Holden after J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield.
He has won the Prix Médicis Étranger in France and the Selezione Campiello, Viareggio, and Palazzo al Bosco prizes in Italy.