Michael Collins was born in 1964 in Limerick, Ireland. He is the author of six novels, and two collections of short stories. His work has garnered numerous awards, including a Pushcart Award for Best American Short Stories, The Kerry Ingredients Irish Novel of the Year, along with being shortlisted for The Booker Prize and IMPAC Prize. Collins is also an extreme athlete and has won The Last Marathon in the Antarctic and set a record time in winning both The Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race and The Everest Challenge Marathon. He is currently training for The North Pole Marathon in 2006.