Pierre Bayard was born in 1954. He is a professor of literature
at the University of Paris VIII, as well a practicing psychoanalyst. He has
written over a dozen books, most of which have not been translated into English.
Bayard's best-known work in English prior to How to Talk about Books You Haven't Read is a work of literary detection entitled Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?, published in 2000. In this book, Bayard dares to suggest that Hercule Poirot's solution to one of Agatha Christie's best-loved mysteries, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, is incorrect and that Christie has deliberately deceived the casual reader. On his way to fingering the real murderer, Bayard conducts a sustained investigation into the nature of detective stories and the blind spots they exploit in hiding their solutions in plain sight, which he extends to other literary genres as well. He writes, "Many readers of fictional texts have at times experienced the disagreeable impression that they...