Melanie McGrath was born near Romford, Essex. Her books include, Motel Nirvana, which won the 1996 John Llewelyn Rhys/Mail on Sunday award for the Best New British and Commonwealth Writer under thirty-five, Hard Soft and Wet, the bestselling memoir Silvertown and, most recently, The Long Exile: A True Story of Deception and Survival Amongst the Inuit of the Canadian Arctic. Hopping, the sequel to Silvertown, will be published by Fourth Estate in early 2008. She writes for the Guardian, Independent, The Times, Evening Standard and Conde Nast Traveller. She is a regular broadcaster on radio, and has been a television producer and presenter. She lives and works in London.