Richard Mason was born in South Africa in 1978 and lives in New York City. His first novel, The Drowning People, published when he was twenty-one and still a student at Oxford, sold more than a million copies worldwide and won Italy’s Grinzane Cavour Prize for Best First Novel. He is also the author of Natural Elements, which was chosen by the Washington Post as one of the best books of 2009 and longlisted for the IMPAC Prize and the Sunday Times Literary Award. History of a Pleasure Seeker is his fourth novel.
In 1999, with Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mason started the Kay Mason Foundation (www.kaymasonfoundation.org), which helps disadvantaged South Africans access quality education. He is the recipient of the Inyathelo Award for Philanthropy.