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Bill Bryson's Biography

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Bill Bryson was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1951.

In 1973, Bill Bryson visited England and met his wife Cynthia, a psychiatric nurse.

Bryson and his family (he has four children) lived for many years in North Yorkshire, but for a few years they moved to New Hampshire in America, only to return to the UK in 2003 and live in Norfolk.

In his first spell in Britain, Bill Bryson wrote for The Times and The Independent, but in 1987 he became a full-time book author.

His first book was The Lost Continent, a humorous account of a trip around America in his mother's Chevy.

Bryson went on to write numerous bestsellers in the travel genre. The most famous of these was the hugely popular Notes From a Small Island.

Bryson's non-travel works include A Short History of Nearly Everything, which was published in Spring 2003. The book won the Royal Society Aventis prize for popular science.

Bill Bryson followed in the footsteps of travel raconteur Peter Ustinov as Chancellor of Durham University. Bryson told The Guardian about his worries over the role:

"I'm not a natural story-teller. Put a keyboard in front of me and I'm fine, but stand me up in front of an audience and I'm actually quite shy and reserved. Charming a room full of VIPs may be rather beyond me."

Another of Bryson's posts is being the President of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE).

In 2006, Bryson was awarded an honorary OBE for services to literature.

In 2007, Bill Bryson published a biography of William Shakespeare.

His book, At Home: A Short History of Private Life was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year.

In 2013, Bill Bryson published One Summer: America, 1927.

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