Born in Pennsylvania in 1925 to Ukrainian immigrant parents, Russell Hoban's interest in writing started early, with his stories and poetry winning him prizes while still at school. During the war he served in the US Infantry. Following his discharge from the army he held a variety of jobs, including work as a freelance illustrator and a copy-writer. It was during this time that he started writing, taking it up as a full-time occupation in 1967. His first full-length novel, The Mouse and His Child was published in 1968, and is widely regarded as a children's classic. In addition to his acclaimed children's books, Hoban writes for adults. He has lived in London since 1969.