Bernardo Atxaga (Joseba Irazu Garmendia, Asteasu, Guipúzcoa, 1951) belongs to the young group of Basque writers that began publishing in his mother language, Euskera, in the Seventies. Graduated in Economics for the Bilbao University, he later studied Philosophy at the University of Barcelona.
His first short story, Ziutateaz was published in 1976 and his first book of poetry Etiopia in 1978. Both works received the National Critics Prize for the best works in the Basque language.
He cultivates most genres: poetry, radio, cinema scriptwriting, theatre, children's books, articles, short stories... His national –and soon after international– recognition arrived with Obabakoak (1988) which, among other prizes, was awarded the National Literature Prize 1989 and that has been translated into more than twenty languages.
Many of his poems have also been translated into other languages and published by prestigious magazines such as Jahbuch der Lyrik, 1993, Die horen, 1995, Lichtungen, 1997 (Germany), Lyrikklubbss bibliotek, 1993 (Sweden), Vuelta, 1990 (Mexico), Linea d'ombra, 1992 (Italy) and others.
His latest novel Soinujolearen Semea (The Son of the Accordionist) was published in Basque (2003) and in Spanish (Alfaguara), Catalan (Edicions 62) and Galician (Xerais) in 2004. International editions include: Dutch (Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2005), Slovenian (Studentska Zalozba, 2006), German (Insel Verlag, 2006), Russian (Azbooka, 2006), French (Christian Bourgois, 2007), Italian (Einaudi, 2007) and Danish (Samleren, 2007) and is soon to appear in English (Harvill-Secker, 2008), Swedish (Bonniers, 2008), Bulgarian (Panorama) and Polish (Znak).