John Bowen was born in India, sent "home" to England at the age of four and a half, and was reared by aunts. He served in the Indian Army from 1943-47, then went to Oxford to read Modern History. After graduating he spent a year in the USA as a Fulbright Scholar, much of it hitch-hiking. He worked for a while in glossy journalism, then in advertising, before turning freelance when the BBC commissioned a six-part adventure-serial for Children`s Television. Between 1956 and 1965 he published six novels to excellent reviews and modest sales, then forsook the novel for nineteen years to concentrate on writing television drama (Heil Caesar: Robin Redbreast) and plays for the stage (After the Rain: Little Boxes: The Disorderly Women). He returned to writing novels in 1984 with The McGuffin: there were four more thereafter. Reviewers have likened his prose to that of Proust and P. G. Wodehouse, of E. M. Forster and the young John Buchan: it may be fair to say that he resists compartmentalisation. He has worked as a television producer for both the BBC and ITV, directed plays at Hampstead and Pitlochry and taught at the London Academy of Dramatic Art. He lives in a house on a hill among fields between Banbury and Stratford-on-Avon.