Mark Haddon is a British novelist, screenplay writer, playwright, cartoonist, and poet. He was born on October 28, 1962, in Northampton, England. He attended Merton College, Oxford, graduating with a degree in English in 1981. He then received an MA from Edinburgh University in 1984. Haddon worked at various jobs, including assisting patients with multiple sclerosis or autism and working for a mail-order company. In his spare time, he wrote for children. His first book, which he illustrated himself, was titled Gilbert’s Gobstopper and was published in 1987. He went on to write more than twelve books for children as well as screenplays for children’s television. These included Microsoap (1998–99), which won several awards, and Fungus the Bogeyman (2004).
Haddon’s first novel for adults (although it was also marketed for a young-adult readership) appeared in 2003. This was The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which won a host of awards in 2004, including the Whitbread Book of the Year Award, South Bank Show Literature Award, Commonwealth Writers Prize Best First Book Award, Waterstone's Literary Fiction Award, W.H. Smith Children's Book of the Year designation, and Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award. The novel was adapted for the stage by Simon Stephens and published in 2012.
Haddon’s first book of poetry, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village under the Sea was published in 2005, followed by a second novel, A Spot of Bother (2006), centering on a retired man in his late fifties and his family. A play, Polar Bears, was produced in England in 2010. In 2012, Haddon published The Red House: A Novel, a story of a dysfunctional family in England and their attempt at reconciliation. His first collection of short stories, The Pier Falls and Other Stories, is scheduled to be released by Doubleday in May 2016.
Haddon teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation and lives in Oxford, England, with his wife SosEltis, who is a Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford, and their two sons.