Kristian Novak is a Croatian writer, linguist and associate professor at the University in Rijeka. Born in Germany as a son of Croatian migrant workers, he later spent his childhood and youth in a small village in Međimurje, in the northernmost part of Croatia. He graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He was standard member of the Croatian karate national team from 1996 to 2009, winning a range of individual and team awards at national and global karate championships, including the title of European Vice-Champion in karate. His first novel The Hanged was published in 2005. Dark Mother Earth (2013), his second novel, won The Tportal prize for Croatian novel of the year and is hailed as one of the best Croatian novels in the last 50 years. The novel was adapted for the stage with great success. A film adaptation is in progress as well (with award-winning Slovenian director Rok Biček), with Novak as co-screenwriter. His third novel, Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All (2016) won a second Tportal award, as well as two further prestigious national awards, Gjalski and Fran Galović. It was succesfully adapted for the stage as well (Croatian National Theater), and a television series based on the novel is in preparation. He is married, father of two children. He lives in Zagreb.