Alan Sillitoe was born on 4 March 1928 in Nottingham, England. He left school at the age of 14 and worked at the Raleigh Bicycle Factory (1942), and as an air traffic control assistant (1945-6).
His first volume of poetry, Without Beer or Bread, was published in 1957, swiftly followed in 1958 by his first novel, the ground-breaking Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, a vivid portrait of masculinity and Nottinghamshire working-class life. It was awarded the Author's Club First Novel Award and was made into a film starring Albert Finney in 1960, and adapted as a stage play in 1964.
Alan Sillitoe was Visiting Professor of English at Leicester de Montfort University (1994-7), a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and held an honorary fellowship from Manchester Polytechnic (1977). He was also awarded honorary doctorates by Nottingham Polytechnic (1990), Nottingham University (1994) and De Montfort University (1998).
His novel, Birthday (2001), is a sequel to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. A Man of His Time (2004) is the story of a womanising Nottinghamshire Blacksmith. Gadfly in Russia (2007), is an account of his travels in Russia.
Alan Sillitoe died in April 2010.