Mark Kurlansky


Mark Kurlansky is well-known to readers through his popular books Cod: A Biography of the Fish That Changed the World, and, more recently, The Basque History of the World (both published by Walker & Company.).

Mark has a long-standing interest in food and food history. He worked as a professional chef and pastry maker in New York and New England and currently writes a regular column about food history for Food & Wine magazine. (one of these was included in Best Food Writing 2000). His book Cod (1997) received the James Beard Award for Excellence in Food Writing, The Glenfiddich 1999 Food and Drink Award for Best Book, and was chosen by the New York Public Library as one of the Best Books of 1997. Cod was also a New York Times Business Bestseller and a Boston Globe Bestseller. The Basque History of the World (1999) underscored Mark’s passion for immersion in cultures struggling to preserve, or define their identity, and was published to similiar acclaim.

Kurlansky recently transformed 25 years’ experience reporting on international affairs and covering the Caribbean, into a collection of short stories and a novella titled The White Man in the Tree (Washington Square Press). With it, he made his debut as a fiction writer: the New York Times Book Review writes, “A reader might reasonably wonder what took him so long to jump into the pool, given the strength of his talent.” He also lived for many years in Paris and Mexico and has written extensively about Europe and Latin America.

Mark has written articles for The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, The International Herald Tribune, and Partisan Review. He is also the author of two other books, A Continent of Islands: Searching for the Caribbean Destiny (Ballantine) and The Chosen Few: The Resurrection of European Jewry (Ballantine). When not travelling around the world, Mark makes his home in New York City with his wife and daughter.


Mark will discuss a variety of topics, including history, current events, and the need for an International Basque Cultural Center in New York City.