John Ralston Saul is an essayist, novelist and long-time champion of freedom of expression. He is the International President of PEN International. His works have been translated into 23 languages in 30 countries, are widely taught in universities and central to the debate over contemporary society in many countries. They include the philosophical trilogy: Voltaire’s Bastards and the Dictatorship of Reason in the West, The Doubter’s Companion, The Unconscious Civilization, and its conclusion, On Equilibrium. In The Collapse of Globalism (2005) he predicted today’s economic crisis. In the autumn of 2012, he published his first novel in 15 years, Dark Diversions: A Traveller’s Tale, a picaresque novel about the life of modern nouveaux riches.
His awards include South Korea’s Manhae Grand Prize for Literature, the Pablo Neruda Medal, Canada’s Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the inaugural Gutenberg Galaxy Award for Literature, Italy’s Premio Letterario Internazionale. He is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France. He is the recipient of 17 honorary degrees. In the autumn of 2013, Saul was appointed Distinguished Visiting Professor at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Arts in Toronto.