Matei Visniec was born in Radauti, in the province of Bukowina, on 29 January 1956. He made his debut as a poet in 1980, but his great passion has always been the theatre. Since 1987 he has lived in France. His plays have crossed borders and his name has topped the bill in thirty or so countries. He is also the author of prose the critics have described as atypical. His first novel, “The Pas-Parol Café”, was written in 1983 but could not be published until after the fall of communism. “Panic Syndrome in the City of Lights” was one of the most highly praised novels of 2009 and won the Observator Cultural Award. In 2010 Matei Visniec published a novel written in 1988, during the first year of his exile in Paris: “Mr. K. Released”. In 2009, the French Society of Dramatic Authors and Composers awarded Matei Visniec its European Prize for lifetime achievement. In Romania he has been awarded the Dramaturgy Prize of the Union of Writers on numerous occasions, the UNITER Prize, and the Romanian Academy’s Prize for Dramaturgy.