Alberto Manguel was born in Buenos Aires in 1948 and grew up in Israel, where his father was the Argentine ambassador. As a teenager, he befriended Jorge Luis Borges, who frequented the bookshop where Manguel worked during his school holidays. Manguel read to Borges several times a week as Borges eyesight waned.
Manguel has written many books, among them the award-winning A Dictionary of Imaginary Places and A History of Reading. His novel News from a Foreign Country Came won the McKitterick Prize in 1992. He was named Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2004, and has been awarded many other prizes, including a Guggenheim. Manguel lives in France.