Richard Powers is one of the most important voices of contemporary American literature. He was born in 1957 in Illinois and grew up in the north of Chicago, spending his teenage years in Bangkok.
After studying Literature he first worked as a programmer. A photo by August Sander, showing three farmers from the Westerwald on their way to a party, was Powers inspiration for his first novel Three Farmers on Their Way to a Dance, which was published in 1985. For the widely acclaimed novel The Echo Maker, which was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, he received the National Book Award for Fiction in 2006. In 2008 Powers had his genome sequenced as the ninth man on earth. He reflects this experience in his report The Book of Me, which was published by the S. Fischer Verlag in 2010.