Seán Burke was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1961. He was Reader in English Studies at the University of Durham where he taught from 1992 to 2006 and has since worked as a freelance writer. He is the author of three books on critical theory, including the classic The Death and Return of the Author. His debut novel, Deadwater, an acclaimed work of literary noir set in the Cardiff docklands, was translated into French as Au Bout des Docks. The Englishwoman is his second novel.