Donna Leon is the American author of an international bestselling crime series set in Venice.
Donna is an accomplished speaker who has experience in engaging audiences in both the private and public spheres. As well as giving high-profile lectures at universities and literary festivals, she also addresses international corporations (including Ernst & Young, Siemens and Bank Vontobel). She inspires audiences worldwide by describing the creative process behind her own tightly plotted, brilliantly characterized novels.
Born in New Jersey, USA, in 1942, Donna Leon has lived most of her life abroad: Italy, Switzerland, Iran, China, Saudi Arabia, in most of which she worked as a university professor of English Literature. In 1979, the Islamic Revolution in Iran put an end to her doctoral studies, and she shortly afterwards began teaching at the University of Maryland in Vicenza, Italy, a position she continued with until 1995.
Since 1991, when her first novel, Death at La Fenice, was published, she has written twenty novels in the Brunetti series, with most of the recent titles becoming international bestsellers. She has been the subject of numerous documentary films and is often asked by theaters and festivals to take part in vocal juries. The German television series based on her novels is one of the most successful programmes on German television. When she’s not busy writing, she’s a confirmed opera lover and since 2000 has been a co-director of an Italian Baroque orchestra.