James Shapiro is Larry Miller Professor of English at Columbia University. He is the author of several influential and prize-winning monographs, including, most recently, 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare (2005), winner of the Theatre Book Prize as well as the BBC Samuel Johnson Prize, awarded to the best nonfiction book published in the UK. He has recently completed one book, Contested Will: The Shakespeare Authorship Controversy (forthcoming from Simon & Schuster in April) and is currently at work on another, The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606. Professor Shapiro reviews widely and works regularly with theaters and acting companies in the US and Britain, including the Public Theater, Theatre for a New Audience, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. He also serves on the Advisory Council for the Authors Guild and as a member of the Board of Governors of the Folger Shakespeare Library.