Gordon Burn was born in Newcastle upon Tyne on January 16, 1948. He began work as a journalist and wrote for several publications including the Guardian, Rolling Stone and Esquire. His novel, Alma Cogan, was published in 1991 and won the Whitbread Award for Best First Novel. During his lifetime he wrote four novels and several non-fiction books including Fullalove, The North of England Home Service, Somebody's Husband, Somebody's Son, Happy Like Murderers, Pocket Money, and Best and Edwards. He died of bowel cancer on July 17, 2009 at the age of 61.