JOHN WALSH was born in 1953 in London, and was educated at Exeter College, Oxford and University College, Dublin. He has been at various times features editor of the Evening Standard, literary editor of the Sunday Times and the editor of the Independent Magazine. He is currently Assistant Editor of the Independent. A prolific critic and cultural commentator, he has written for the New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Tribune, Q and Mojo. He was director of the Cheltenham Festival of Literature in 1997 and 1998 and presented Books & Company for three years on Radio Four, where he can still be heard on the popular quiz show The Write Stuff. He lives in Dulwich with the journalist Carolyn Hart and their three children.