Birgit Vanderbeke, born in 1956, is one of Germany's most successful literary authors. She has written 17 novels. The Mussel Feast - Das Muschelessen- was her first publication and won the most prestigious German language literature award, The Ingeborg Bachmann Prize. The book was published in 1990 and has never been out of print since. It has been translated into all major European languages, including French, Spanish and Italian.