Alan Sillitoe was born in 1928, and left school at fourteen to work in various factories until becoming an air traffic control assistant with the Ministry of Aircraft Production in 1945.
He enlisted in May 1946 into the RAFVR, and spent two years on active service in Malaya as a wireless operator. At the end of 1949, he was invalided out of the service with a hundred per cent disability pension.
His first stories were printed in the Nottingham Weekly Guardian. In 1958 Saturday Night and Sunday Morning was published and The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, which won the Hawthornden prize for Literature, came out the following year. Both these books were made into films.
Further works include Key to the Door, The Ragman’s Daughter and The General (both also filmed), The William Posters Trilogy, A Start in Life, Raw Material, The Widower’s Son – as well as eight volumes of poetry and Nottinghamshire, for which David Sillitoe took the photographs. His latest novels are Her Victory, The Lost Flying Boat, Down From the Hill, Life Goes On, The Open Door, Last Loves, Leonard’s War and Snowstop. He has also published his Collected Stories and his autobiography, Life Without Armour.