Jonathan Rabb grew up knowing he would be an academic. The son and grandson (on both sides) of historians, Rabb’s world shook at its very core when he opted to try his hand at political theory. As an undergraduate at Yale, Rabb divided his time among Locke and Hobbes and Hegel while spending his more reckless hours singing with the Whiffenpoofs and galloping across stage in such roles as Harry the Horse and a perfectly bean-poled Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. He even went so far as to make his living his first years out of college as an actor in New York before settling on a PhD program at Columbia.Somehow, though, that was not to be. While in Germany researching the very compelling and very obscure seventeenth-century theorist Samuel von Pufendorf (Whiffenpoof on Pufendorf), Rabb got the idea for a thriller in which a young professor at Columbia gets caught up in a vast conspiracy predicated on deciphering a centuries-old manuscript, a response to Machiavelli’s The Prince. Suddenly theater and history had come together in the form of historical fiction and, leaving his Fulbright and academia behind, Rabb spent the next two years teaching test prep and writing furiously.In 1998, his first novel, The Overseer, reached bookshelves, followed three years later by The Book of Q—another historical thriller—and his marriage to Andra Reeve, the director of prime time casting at CBS television. Having discovered a new kind of bliss in his private life, Rabb decided it was time to dive into the decay and despair of Berlin between the wars. He set to work on what would be the first in his Berlin Trilogy, Rosa, and also began to teach fiction at the 92nd Street Y. In July 2004 his wife had twins, and for the next two years, while writing and researching Shadow and Light, Rabb became their primary caretaker. Somehow, they continued to grow and flourish, and Shadow and Light found its way to the page.Rabb is now deep into the final book of the trilogy, and still finds time to perform Gilbert and Sullivan with the Blue Hill Troupe of New York, the Harrisburg Symphony, and anyone else willing to indulge his love of Patter roles. This fall, Rabb started teaching in the NYU Creative Writing Program and continues to write reviews for Opera News and essays for the series I Wish I’d Been There.