Simon Winchester, best-selling author, journalist, and broadcaster, has worked as a foreign correspondent for most of his career and lectures widely at universities, geological and historical societies, and libraries. The author of 21 books, including the bestsellers The Professor
and the Madman, an account of the men behind the Oxford English Dictionary,
A Crack in the Edge of the World: America and the Great California Earthquake of 1906, and The Map that Changed the World, about the nineteenth-century geologist William Smith, Winchester specializes in eccentric, obsessive geniuses. He is praised for his skills as a masterful and riveting storyteller both on the page and in lectures. His current book is The New York Times best-seller The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom.
Winchester’s journalistic work, mainly for The Guardian and The Sunday Times, has landed him in Belfast, Washington,
DC, New Delhi, New York, London, and Hong Kong, where he covered such stories as the Ulster crisis, the creation of Bangladesh, the fall of President Marcos, the Watergate affair, the Jonestown massacre, the assassination of Egypt’s President Sadat, the recent death and cremation of Pol Pot, and, in 1982, the Falklands War. During this conflict he was arrested and spent three months in prison in Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego on spying charges.
He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to journalism and literature in the New Year Honours list for 2006. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, in October 2009.