Tiit Aleksejev (b.1968) graduated from the University of Tartu with a master’s degree in Medieval History. He has worked as a diplomat in Paris and Brussels, and currently lives in Tallinn. His first short story, Tartu rahu, won the annual award from the literary magazine Looming in 1999. His first novel, Valge kuningriik, a thriller whose action unfolds in Paris and retrospectively in Afghanistan in the 1980s, was awarded the Betti Alver Prize in 2006 for best debut novel. In order to write his novel Palveränd, Aleksejev researched material for ten years and visited the main battle scenes in the Holy Land. The novel won the EU Prize for Literature in 2010 and was translated into several languages subsequently (e.g. Italian, Hungarian, and Finnish).