Gerald Kersh was born in 1911 in Teddington-on-Thames. He first gave evidence of his iron constitution at the age of four, when after being declared dead of lung congestion, he sat up in his deathbed. At seven he wrote his first novel and published it privately in a limited edition of one copy, bound in his father’s brocade waistcoat. He eventually wrote 1,000 articles, 300 short stories, and 19 novels, including Night and the City (1938). After World War II he took up permanent residence in upstate New York. There he wrote many critically-acclaimed novels which failed to find a mass audience. He died in poverty in 1968.