Russell Hoban's parents were immigrants from the Ukraine. His father was the advertising manager of a newspaper, as well as the director of a Philadelphia drama guild. Russell served in the US infantry during World War II. After the war he taught art in New York and Connecticut. His first novel was published in 1958 and he has now produced more than 50 books for adults and children. In 1969, Russell moved to London where he stayed until his death in 2011.