Mari Jose Olaziregi was born in Donostia in 1963 and holds a PhD in Basque literature. She is a lecturer at the University of the Basque Country (Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain). She also has an MA on the Promotion of Reading Habits from the Ramon Llull University (Barcelona), and is currently completing an MA in Studies in Fiction at the University of East Anglia (UK).
In 1997, Dr. Olaziregi was awarded the Becerro de Bengoa Prize for the essay Bernardo Atxagaren irakurlea (Bernardo Atxaga's Reader). Since 2003, she has been the editor of the Basque Literature in Translation Series at the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno) and the director of the www.basqueliterature.com website. She has written numerous forewords for Basque novels and anthologies, and published essays in international journals, some of which have been translated into English, French, Spanish, Czech, Slovenian and Italian. She specialises in contemporary Basque literature and is renowned for her critical work on Bernardo Atxaga. She is the author of seven books on Basque literature; among them Euskal eleberriaren historia (History of the Basque Novel, 2001), and Waking the Hedgehog: The Literary Universe of Bernardo Atxaga, (University of Nevada Press, 2005, translated from Basque by Amaia Gabantxo). She has edited anthologies such as Etzikoak: Antologija sodobne baskovske knjizesnosti, published in Slovenian in 2006 and An Anthology of Basque Short Stories (2004) which has been translated into Spanish, Russian and Italian. Marijo Olaziregi was a member of IBBYÂ´s executive committee in 2004-2006 and has been a member of the Royal Academy of the Basque Language since 2000. She is the editor of A History of Basque Literature.