A Canadian writer and editor. He was the originating editor of the internationally successful illustrated For Beginners book series (since 1991 called the Introducing... series), as well as the author of several of the series' texts. He is a founding publisher and editor of Icon Books. He was founding editor of the Manga Shakespeare series. He is a former executive editor of the journal Third Text, and reviews editor of the policy studies journal Futures.
Appignanesi has authored four novels, a graphic novel, a variety of graphic texts, a volume of poetry, monographs and essays on cultural and literary subjects, and has curated several of projects.