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Simon Mawer was born in England and spent his childhood there, in Cyprus, and in Malta. His previous novels include The Fall (winner of the Boardman Tasker Prize), The Gospel of Judas, and Mendel's Dwarf (long-listed for the Man Booker Prize). He now lives in Italy with his wife and teaches at St. George's British International School in Rome.
Named a best book of 2009 by The Economist, The Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, London Evening Standard, The Observer, and Slate.com Named a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice "A stirring new novel that almost won this year's Booker Prize....The Glass Room works so effectively because Mawer embeds...provocative aesthetic and moral issues in a war-torn adventure story that's eerily erotic and tremendously exciting....[a] gorgeous novel."--The Washington Post "[A] stirring historical novel."--The New Yorker "The Glass Room...is a story that will stay with me for a long, long time."--The Huffington Post "An old-fashioned, beautifully constructed novel of history, passion and ideas."--The Seattle Times "[A] saga of a family and a nation at war...Mawer moves with grace among multiple points of view and establishes sympathy for characters with competing interests."--The Forward "[The Glass Room is] a thing of extraordinary beauty and symmetry... a novel of ideas, yet strongly propelled by plot and characterised by an almost dreamlike simplicity of telling. Comparisons with the work of Michael Frayn would not be misplaced, and there are occasional moments of illuminating brilliance..."--The Guardian "In Mawer's hands [The Glass Room] becomes a means for exploring the way people's hopes for the future become part of their history. This he does beautifully."--Times Literary Supplement ..".Mawer creates a passionately detailed portrait of individuals struggling to snatch order and happiness from frightening, irrational times."--Sunday Telegraph ..". engrossing... Mawer explores his themes with a subtle intelligence. A novel of ideas, but one driven by character and story."--The Literary Review "The Jewish fates of Viktor, Kata and others are lightly handled, which seems just right in this optimistic, joyful but never facile vision of human achievement. Mawer's perfect pacing clinches a wholly enjoyable and moving read."--The Independent "The writing, as sensual and sophisticated as its subjects, keeps us firmly within the house's elegant parameters, caught up in the touch and taste and roiling emotions of the characters living through these events. Seeing clearly, Mawer shows us, is never an option, no matter how large and expensive your windows. Every era thinks it has achieved transparency, complete with modern fixtures and sundry decorations. But we can't ever actually see out, because our damned humanity keeps misting up the glass."--Time Out London "The Glass Room['s] poetic success is to remind us of two great gilt-edged ironies: that whatever is held to be the height of modernity is already en route to the museum, and that even 'cold' art is the embodiment of its maker's passion - one that can prove contagious."--The Financial Times "Simon Mawer's grasp of period and place achieves what all great novels must: the creation of an utterly absorbing world the reader can scarcely bear to leave. Exciting, profoundly affecting and altogether wonderful."--Daily Mail "A carefully constructed book, beautifully written."--The Economist "[A] wonderful and moving story of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe." --Christian Science Monitor