Nevil Shute Norway was born in London in 1899. He graduated from Balliol College, Oxford with a degree in engineering in 1922 and began working as an aeronautical engineer. The first of his twenty-four novels, Marazan, was published in 1926 and these two very separate careers flourished in tandem until he ceased work in 1938 to write full-time. As a Naval Volunteer Reservist in the Second World War, Shute developed anti-submarine missiles and was sent to Normandy to chronicle the D-Day landings. In 1945 he emigrated to Australia with his wife and daughters and there wrote perhaps his most famous novels – A Town Like Alice (1950) and On the Beach (1957). He died in Melbourne in 1960.