Christy Nolan was born in Mullingar, Ireland, on 6 September 1965. Unable to talk, walk or use his hands due to cerebal palsy, he could communicate only via a special computer and keyboard, using a so-called 'unicorn stick' to painstakingly tap each letter as his mother cradled his head. He published his first book, a collection of poetry called A Dam-burst of Dreams, in 1981. In 1987, he published an autobiographical novel, Under the Eye of the Clock, which won the Whitbread Award. A stage version of the novel, called Torchlight and Laser Beams and written with the theatre director Michael Scoot, was shown at the Edinburgh Festival in 1988. His next novel, The Banyan Tree, was published in 1999 by Orion. Christy Nolan died in Dublin on 20 February, 2009. At the time of his death he was working on another novel, which remains unfinished.