W.J. Corbett joined the Merchant Navy as a galley-boy when he was sixteen and saw the world. He also worked as a factory hand, furniture remover, building site labourer and dishwasher. His first book, 'The Song of Pentecost', described by Roald Dahl as 'an astonishing achievement', won the prestigious Whitbread Award. He has since been described as a 'born writer' by Auberon Waugh.