Mark Kurlansky (born 7 December 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut) is a highly-acclaimed American journalist and writer of general interest non-fiction. He is especially known for titles on eclectic topics, such as cod or salt.
Kurlansky attended Butler University, where he harbored an early interest in theatre and earned a BA in 1970. However, his interest faded and he began to work as a journalist in the 1970s. During the 70’s he worked as a correspondent in Western Europe for the Miami Herald, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and eventually the Paris-based International Herald Tribune. He moved to Mexico in 1982 where he continued to do journalism. He wrote his first book, A Continent of Islands, in 1992 and went on to write several books throughout the 1990s. His 1997 book Cod was an international bestseller and was translated into more than 15 languages. His work and contribution to Basque identity and culture is recognised in the Basque hall of fame.
Kurlansky as a teenager called Emile Zola his "hero", and in 2009 Kurlansky translated one of Zola's novels The Belly of Paris whose theme is the food markets of Paris.