George Robert Minkoff was raised on Long Island. He graduated from Clark University in 1965. For four decades he has been a noted antiquarian and rare book dealer living in the Berkshires of Massachusetts and New York City. Mr. Minkoff began writing plays in the late 1960s, but a decade later the publisher of Putnam, William Targ, urged him instead to write novels. Inspired by one of his teen-aged sons, the trilogy "In the Land of Whispers" began as a one-act play to dramatize the absurdity between the reach of the first English settlers and their grasp, but as Minkoff dealt with the historical materials he realized there was a far greater story to be told -- a story of intertwined illusions: alchemy (the reigning science), tobacco (presumed a miracle drug), and the Elizabethan mind. The final volume of "In the Land of Whispers" will be released in November, 2008.