Robert Elsie is a leading expert in Albanian studies. He was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, in 1950, and did his post-graduate studies in Germany, France and Ireland. He is the author of about fifty books, including literary translations from a number of European languages, primarily Albanian. Among these are the 15,000-line Albanian national epic, The Highland Lute (London 2005). He works as a translator/revisor for the United Nations in The Hague.