Mark Kurlansky is a former commercial fisherman and the author of World Without Fish (Workman Publishing, June 18, 2011) and the New York Times bestsellers Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, Salt: A World History, The Big Oyster: History on the Half Shell, and 16 other books. He’s won numerous awards, including the James A. Beard Award, Glenfiddich Award for food writing, ALA Notable Book Award, The New York Public Library Best Books of the Year Award, Los Angeles Times Science Writing Award, Dayton Literary Peace Prize. He has illustrated many of his books himself.
Kurlansky was born in Hartford, Connecticut. After receiving a BA in Theater from Butler University in 1970, he worked in New York as a playwright, penning a number of off-off- Broadway productions, and as a playwright-in-residence at Brooklyn College. He won the 1972 Earplay award for best radio play of the year. He has also worked many other jobs including as a dock worker, a paralegal, a cook and a pastry chef.
In the mid 1970s, Kurlansky turned to journalism. His articles have appeared in a wide variety of newspapers and magazines, including the International Herald Tribune, the Chicago Tribune, the Miami Herald the Philadelphia Inquirer, The Los Angeles Times, TIME magazine, Partisan Review, Harper’s, The New York Times Magazine, Audubon, Food +Wine, Gourmet, Bon Appétit and Parade.
In addition to giving lectures at numerous schools, including Columbia University School of Journalism, Yale University, Colby College, Grinnell College and the University of Dayton, Kurlansky has taught creative writing in Assisi, Italy and Devon, England, and has lectured internationally on history, writing, and environmental issues. His books have been translated into twenty-five languages.
Kurlansky lives with his wife and daughter in New York City and Gloucester, Massachusetts. His website is www.markkurlansky.com.