John von Düffel was born in 1966 in Göttingen. In the course of his youth, he lived with his parents for long periods abroad: in the 1960s in Derry (Northern Ireland) and in the 1970s in South Dakota, USA. He studied philosophy and national economy at the universities of Stirling, Scotland and Freiburg in Breisgau. In 1989, he graduated with a doctoral degree in epistemology. He initially worked as a theatre and film critic, then as a dramatist and dramaturg at various theatres in Stendal, Oldenburg, Basel and Bonn. From 2000-2009, he was a dramaturg at the Thalia Theater. Since the 2009/10 season, he has been a dramaturg at the Deutsches Theater. He has written several plays including Rinderwahnsinn (Mad Cows), Die Unbekannte mit dem Fön (The Stranger with the Hairdryer) and Das schlechteste Theaterstück der Welt (The Worst Play in the World), with which he was discovered in 1995 at the first Schauspiel Hannover’s Autorentheatertage. His debut novel Vom Wasser (About Water) was awarded the ZDF’s Aspekte Literature Prize, the Ernst Willner Prize at the Ingeborg Bachmann Competition in Klagenfurt and the Mara Cassens Prize of the Literaturhaus Hamburg. This was followed by the novels Zeit des Verschwindens (Time of Disappearance) and Ego. His family novel Houwelandt (2004) became a bestseller and was awarded the Nicolas Born Prize. In addition, he has adapted the following works for the stage: Thomas Mann’s Buddenbrooks, Theodor Storm’s novella The Rider on the White Horse, Todd Solondz’ Happiness for the Thalia Theater, Thomas Manns Joseph and his Brothers for the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus and Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad for the Deutsches Theater as well as Ödipus Stadt (Oedipus City) by Sophocles, Euripides and Aeschylus.