Rainer Merkel was born in 1964 in Cologne. He studied psychology and art history and lives in Berlin. Between 2008 and 2009, he worked for Cap Anamur in Liberia’s only psychiatric hospital. His novels so far: Das Jahr der Wunder, for which he was awarded the Jürgen Ponto Prize, Das Gefühl am Morgen, Lichtjahre entfernt, which was on the shortlist of the German Book Prize, and the reports Das Unglück der anderen. Kosovo, Liberia, Afghanistan and Go Ebola Go. Eine Reise nach Liberia. Rainer Merkel was awarded the Erich Fried Prize in 2013.