John Walsh studied English at Oxford and Anglo-Irish studies at University College Dublin, where his thesis examined the late prose of Samuel Beckett. He has been a journalist for 37 years, most of them spent at the Independent, where, over the years, he interviewed everybody from Vaclav Havel to Rita Ora and Leonard Cohen to Dame Ninette de Valois. He has been literary editor of three newspapers and, in the late 1990s, was director of the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
He is the author of two non-fiction books, one about national identity, the other about the effect of movies on the developing mind. He has also published a novel about the Rector of Stiffkey. For 17 years he could be heard with Sebastian Faulks and James Walton on The Write Stuff, Radio 4’s literary quiz show.