Portrait of Simon Leys

Simon Leys

Simon Leys’ books include The Hall of Uselessness: Collected Essays, The Death of Napoleon, Other People’s Thoughts and The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper. Leys’ writing has appeared in the New York Review of Books, Le Monde, Le Figaro Littéraire, Quadrant and The Monthly.

Simon Leys is the pen-name of Pierre Ryckmans, who was born in Belgium and settled in Australia in 1970. He taught Chinese literature at the Australian National University and was Professor of Chinese Studies at the University of Sydney from 1987 to 1993.

In 1996 he delivered the ABC’s Boyer Lectures. His many awards include the Prix Renaudot, the Prix Femina, the Prix Guizot and the Christina Stead Prize for fiction.