Christina Stead was born in Sydney in 1902, and died there in 1983. Most of her life was spent elsewhere: in London, Paris and other places in Europe, and in the United States. Her first book, The Salzburg Tales, was published in 1934, followed by twelve more works of fiction. In The Man Who Loved Children she drew on her own childhood in Sydney. She was the recipient of the inaugural Patrick White Literary Award in 1974.