Bernardo Atxaga is the foremost contemporary Basque poet and novelist. He studied economics, then did various jobs to support his writing: teacher of Basque, bookseller, etc. He became a full-time writer in 1980. He has written novels, children’s literature, poetry, and song lyrics, and his work has been translated into many languages. He has always written in Basque, but also writes in Spanish, usually translating his own work. Although the political situation in the Basque country inevitably impinges on his work, in particular in his novels, The Lone Man and The Lone Woman, Atxaga insists on the universality of literature.
– from Margaret Jull Costa’s introduction in MPT Series 3/8 Getting it Across