Toronto-born Stephen O’Shea, stephenosheaonline.com, was for many years a journalist in Paris and New York, contributing to a wide range of American, British, Canadian and French magazines on different aspects of European culture, as well as translating French films into English for such directors as Bertrand Blier, Mathieu Kassovitz, Eric Rohmer and Agnès Varda. He was Variety’s film critic in Paris, then later the senior arts and entertainment editor in New York for the American edition of Elle.
His first book, Back to the Front (1996), received critical acclaim for its passionate evocation of the First World War. He subsequently chronicled the fate of the medieval Cathar heretics in The Perfect Heresy (2000), which was published in several foreign-language editions. O’Shea then crisscrossed the Mediterranean to research and write Sea of Faith (2006), an even-handed evocation of the relation between Islam and Christianity in the medieval period that was hailed for its unusual use of a sense of place in its narrative. With The Friar of Carcassonne he returns to the Cathars of Languedoc to unearth the dramatic story of a revolt against oppression and the abuse of power.
O’Shea currently lives with his two daughters in Providence, Rhode Island.