Alain de Botton was born in Zurich, Switzerland in December 1969 and educated in Switzerland and England. He speaks French, German and English and now lives in London.
His family originates from the Spanish peninsula, from the small Castilian town of Boton (now vanished). They left in 1492, along with the rest of the Sephardic Jewish community, and eventually settled in Alexandria, Egypt, where de Botton’s father was born.
De Botton has written five books. His first novel, Essays in Love (entitled On Love in the US) was published in November 1993. His second novel, The Romantic Movement was published in September 1994. His third novel, Kiss and Tell was published in September 1995. His fourth book (and first non-fiction title), How Proust Can Change Your Life was published in April 1997-and was a bestseller in the US and UK. His books are published in twenty languages.
His latest book, The Consolations of Philosophy, was published in the UK and US in April 2000. He has made a television documentary for British television (Channel 4) which accompanies the book. The Consolations of Philosophy has to date sold 72,000 copies in hardback in the UK alone, and was in the bestseller lists for several months.
Alain de Botton’s next book, an essay on travel, will be published in the UK and US in the spring of 2002.