American author Elizabeth Kostova (1964- ) is best known for her debut novel The Historian (2005), which become an international best-seller.
Elizabeth Kostova was born in New London, Connecticut and is a graduate of Yale University. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan, where she won the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress.
The Historian is a modern re-telling of Dracula by Bram Stoker. Like the original Dracula, The Historian presents the story in the form of correspondence, including quotes from Bram Stoker's original book. Interwoven within the story is the clash between Islam and the West and Cold War tensions (the novel is in part set in Hungary and Bulgaria prior to the fall of the Berlin Wall).
The Historian has been unfairly compared with The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown, and even called The Dracula Code. This is unfair for several reasons.
The Historian was ten years in the writing. The publishers may well not have helped by surrounding the book with hype and jumping on the Da Vinci Code bandwagon. The main reason the criticism is unfair, is that unlike Dan Brown, Elizabeth Kostova can actually write!
What is curious, is that the publishers of The Historian, Little, Brown and Co., are reputed to have paid an advance of $2 million! Unheard of for an unknown author.
Elizabeth Kostova was awarded the Hopwood Award for the Novel-in-Progress whilst she was writing The Historian.