Aidan Higgins was born in 1927. Langrishe Go Down, his first novel, won the James Tait Black memorial Prize and the Irish Academy of Letters Award, and was later filmed for television with a screenplay by Harold Pinter. His second novel, Balcony of Europe, was shortlisted for the 1972 Booker Prize. The novel Lions of the Grunewald appeared in 1993 and a collection of shorter fiction, Flotsam and jetsam, in 1996. Donkey's Years and Dog Days were the first two volumes of the Higgins Bestiary which concludes with this volume.