Claudio Magris, born in 1939, is an Italian scholar, translator and writer. He is a graduate of the University of Turin, where he studied Germanistics, and has been professor of Modern German Literature at the University of Trieste since 1978. He is an essayist and columnist for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera and for other European journals and newspapers. Professor Magris is a member of several European academies and served as senator in the Italian Senate from 1994 to 1996.His novels include Danube, A Different Sea and Microcosms. Magris won the Strega Prize in 1998 for Danube. He was also awarded the Erasmus prize 2001 and a Prince of Asturias Awards for Literature in 2004. On 31 July 2006 Austria awarded its annual state prize for European literature to Magris.