|Born in Wales and educated at Exeter College, Oxford, where he took a second in English Language and Literature, Roberts moved permanently to Canada in 1980. He lived for several years prior to this in India, where he taught at Bangalore University and studied Sanskrit at the Hindu University in Varanasi.
While working on his first novel, The Palace of Fears, he worked as a television producer at the BBC, and then the CBC and Citytv in Toronto. He covered both the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars for Harper's, winning numerous awards and accolades, including the 2005 inaugural PEN 'Paul Kidd Award for Courage in Journalism'.
Author of eight books, dozens of articles and several screenplays, he has written for many magazines and newspapers, including The Toronto Star, Harper's, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail and The Washington Post.
His personal account of the 1991 Iraq war for Saturday Night won a National Magazine award, and he has received a Canadian Author's Award for fiction. His account of the 2003 Iraq war, A War Against Truth, was a finalist for the Charles Taylor Prize for best nonfiction book of the year. He is considered to be one of Canada's top experts on Middle Eastern affairs and is a friend of Harper's editor Lewis H. Lapham, whom he regards as a mentor.
PWR recently received the inaugural PEN Canada Paul Kidd Courage Award.
The prize honours "a Canadian journalist or one working for a Canadian media outlet; someone who has made a contribution to writing or broadcasting; someone whose work has demonstrated a willingness to put his or her career on the line in the tenacious pursuit of a story; and a self-starter who has had the courage to be unique and take an independent viewpoint."
In addition to Homeland, and A War Against Truth, PWR has previously published six other books. A passionate lover of the Middle East and a scholar of Jewish and Arabic history and religions, he also spent four years editing a 22-volume English translation of the Zohar, the pivotal Hebrew/Aramaic text which is one of the primary bases for kabbalah.
PWR is planning a book about Kabbalah for Raincoast Publishing. A completely revised paperback version of Journey of the Magi, with a new preface, was published by Raincoast the fall of 2005, and a new edition of River in the Desert is on the shelves now. Click in our Bookstore at AFP to purchase.