Cornelius Medvei was born in 1977 and grew up in Suffolk and London. He studied French and German at Oriel College, Oxford. He then went to China and worked as a teacher, first in Changzhou and then in Nanjing. Cornelius took an MA in Chinese at Sheffield University, 2001–2002.
Cornelius currently lives and works in London. As well as writing stories, he translates Chinese poetry, directs and produces short films, and teaches French and English as a foreign language at universities in and around London.