Danilo Kis was born on February 22, 1935 in Subotica, a small town north of Serb.He moved to Hungary during World War 2. He attended the University of Belgrade where he studied General and Comparative Literature and graduated in 1958. He wrote for the Vidici Magazine. He wrote novels, essays and poetry. His works include: Attic, Psalm 44, Garden, Ashes, a Tomb for Boris Davidovich and Encyclopedia of the Dead. In 1986, he was named knight of Arts and Letters. He spent most of his life in Belgrade - until his last decade which he spent between France and Belgrade. He spent a number of years as a lecturer in France. He was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature and was expected to win however he died in Paris on October 15, 1989 before it was announced.
Michael Henry Heim was born in New York on January 21, 1943. He received an undergraduate degree from Columbia University and a doctorate in Slavic languages from Harvard University. He was fluent in Czech, French, German, Italian, Russian and Serbian/Croatian and possessed a reading knowledge of six more languages. He became a professor of Slavic languages at the University California at Los Angeles in 1972 and served as chairman of the Slavic languages department from 1999 to 2003. He was known for his translations of works by Gunter Grass, Milan Kundera, Thomas Mann and Anton Chekhov. He received numerous awards for his work including the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize in 2005, the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation in 2009, and the PEN Translation Prize in 2010. He died from complications of melanoma on September 29, 2012 at the age of 69.