Elizabeth Kostova was born in Connecticut in 1964. She is the author of three novels: The Historian (Little, Brown, 2005), The Swan Thieves (Little, Brown, 2010) and The Shadow Land (Random House, 2017). The Historian was the first debut novel in U.S. publishing history to have been translated into 40 languages, debut at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and won Quill and Independent Bookseller Awards. The Swan Thieves was also a New York Times Bestseller and has been translated into 28 languages. Her short fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in such periodicals and anthologies as The Mississippi Review, Poets & Writers Magazine, The Best American Poetry, The Michigan Quarterly and Another Chicago Magazine.
She teaches, reads and lectures nationally and internationally, and is co-founder of the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, which provides competitive opportunities for Bulgarian writers and translators, as well as opportunities for native-English writers to travel to Bulgaria. She also serves on the University Council of the American University of Bulgaria in Blagoevgrad and as Vice President of the Pen & Plate Club in North Carolina.
She has received awards for service from the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture and the town of Sozopol. Kostova holds a B.A. in British Studies from Yale College and an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where she won Hopwood Awards in both fiction and nonfiction.