Bruce Chatwin was born in Sheffield in 1940. After attending Marlborough School, he began work as a porter at Sotheby’s. Eight years later, having become one of Sotheby’s youngest directors, he abandoned his job to pursue his passion for world travel. He worked for the Sunday Times from 1972 to 1975, before announcing his next departure in a telegram: “Gone to Patagonia for six months.” This trip inspired the first of Chatwin’s books, In Patagonia, which won the Hawthornden Prize and the E. M. Forster Award, and launched his writing career. Two of his books have been made into feature films: The Viceroy of Ouidah, retitled Cobra Verde and directed by Werner Herzog; and Andrew Grieve’s On the Black Hill. On publication, The Songlines went straight to number one on the Sunday Times bestseller list and remained in the top ten for nine months. On the Black Hill won the Whitbread Literary Award for First Novel. Utz, another work of fiction, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Chatwin died in January 1989 at the age of forty-eight.