P H Newby was born in 1918 in Crowborough, Sussex. In October 1939 he was sent to France, to fight in the war as a private, in a Medical Corps Unit. He was released from duty in December 1942, and taught English Literature at Fouad 1st University, Cairo. When his first novel, A Journey into the Interior (1946), was published, he returned to England to write.
He was the first winner of the Booker Prize for his novel Something to Answer For. He was given a CBE for his work as Managing Director of BBC Radio.
P H Newby died in 1997.