Novelist Jonathan Coe was born in Birmingham in 1961. He was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge, and completed a Ph.D. on Henry Fielding's Tom Jones at Warwick University. He taught English Poetry at Warwick, subsequently working as a professional musician, writing music for jazz and cabaret. He also worked as a legal proofreader before becoming a freelance writer and journalist.
He is an author of several novels including The Dwarves of Death (1990), a cult murder story filmed as Five Seconds to Spare in 1999; the acclaimed What a Carve Up! (1994), a caustic satire of British life in the 1980s and winner of the Mail on Sunday/John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (France); and The House of Sleep (1997), which won the Writers' Guild Award (Best Fiction) and the Prix Médicis Etranger (France) and recounts the adventures of a group of former university students, reunited at the mysterious cliff-top house where they used to live. The Rotters' Club (2001), is set in Birmingham during the 1970s and tells the story of a group of school friends working on the school magazine. It was adapted for BBC Television in 2005. A sequel, The Closed Circle, was published in 2004.