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Author Corner: Dan Brown

Full name – Daniel Gerhard Brown

Age – 56 years

Nationality – American

 

“The more man learned, the more he realised he did not know.”

– Dan Brown

 

Dan Brown is the author of numerous #1 bestselling novels, including The Da Vinci Code, which has become one of the best-selling novels of all time as well as the subject of intellectual debate among readers and scholars. Brown’s novels are published in 56 languages around the world with over 200 million copies in print. In 2005, Brown was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by TIME Magazine.

He was born on June 22, 1964 and grew up as the eldest of three children in Exeter, New Hampshire and graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy, a decidedly up-market school where his father was employed as a math teacher, in 1982. His mother, Constance, was a professional musician principally involved in performing sacred music. Although Dan Brown actually attended local public, schools until the ninth grade he nonetheless lived with his family on the Exeter campus and participated in a college related life that was also informed by Christian values- singing in the church choir and attending church camp.

Although he had little success in the music industry, in 1990 he wrote his first book, 187 Men to Avoid, a dating survival guide for women; it was published in 1995. In 1993 Brown joined the faculty at Exeter as an English and creative-writing teacher. Several years later the U.S. secret service visited the school to interview a student who had written an e-mail in which he joked about killing the president. The incident sparked Brown’s interest in covert intelligence agencies, which formed the basis of his first novel, Digital Fortress (1998). Centred on clandestine organisations and code breaking, the novel became a model for Brown’s later works. In his next novel, Angels & Demons (2000), Brown introduced Robert Langdon, a Harvard professor of symbology. The fast-paced thriller follows Langdon’s attempts to protect the Vatican from the Illuminati, a secret society formed during the Renaissance that opposed the Roman Catholic Church. Although the novel received positive reviews, it failed to catch on with readers. After his third novel, Deception Point (2001), Brown returned to Langdon with The Da Vinci Code, a thriller that centres on art, history, arcane theories and Christianity origins. The Da Vinci Code proved controversial, and many theologians and art scholars dismissed Brown’s notions. The novel, however, proved immensely popular with readers. By 2009 more than 80 million copies had been sold, and editions were available in some 40 languages. Intense interest in the novel resulted in a spate of Code-related books and sparked sales of Brown’s earlier works; in 2004 all four of his novels appeared simultaneously on The New York Times best-seller lists. The film adaptations of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons were released in 2006 and 2009, respectively, with Tom Hanks starring as Langdon.

Brown continued the adventures of his tweedy protagonist in The Lost Symbol (2009) and Inferno (2013), which saw Langdon following clues related to Dante’s poem and The Divine Comedy in an effort to stop the release of a plague. The latter book was also adapted for the big screen, in 2016, with Hanks again portraying Langdon. Brown’s fifth instalment in the series, Origin, was released the following year.

In 2019, after 21 years of marriage, Brown and his wife acrimoniously divorced, with the financial settlement still to be concluded due to Brown’s alleged infidelities during the latter part of their marriage. Brown and his family are also involved with many charities and funds which they actively donate to and keep up with.

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Suditi Prasad

Suditi Prasad

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