Colin Thubron is the master of classic travel writing, and a previous winner of the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. His first writing was about the Middle East - Damascus, Lebanon and Cyprus. In 1982 he travelled all over Russia in an ancient Morris Marina - pursued at every stage by the KGB. From these early experiences developed his travel books: Among the Russians, Behind the Wall, The Lost Heart of Asia and In Siberia (all available in Vintage). So great is his dedication to travelling in Russia and China, that he has learned Russian and Mandarin in order to be able to speak to ordinary people en route. Colin Thubron is also a prize-winning novelist - but his travel books have a much higher profile and command much greater sales than his fiction. He lives in West London.