Pascal Mercier, born in 1944 in Bern as Peter Bieri, studied Indian languages, English, Philosophy and Greek in London and Heidelberg. After gaining his doctorate in 1971 and research residences at Berkeley and Harvard (1973-1975) he was promoted to professor in 1981 in Heidelberg. He taught in Hamburg, Heidelberg, Berlin, Bielefeld and Marburg until 1993. He has been Professor of Philosophy at the Free University of Berlin since 1993. In addition to numerous scientific works, in which he deals with the philosophy of the spirit, knowledge and language, he has published several novels under the pseudonym Pascal Mercier. In 2004 he made his breakthrough as a literary best-selling author, with Nachtzug nach Lissabon (title of the English translation: Night Train to Lisbon).