Brian Keenan was born in Belfast in 1950. He has degrees in English and Anglo-Irish Literature, and has worked as a teacher in community development. After joining the staff at Beirut University, he was taken hostage in 1986. Following his release, four-and-a-half years later, he wrote the bestselling account of his imprisonment, An Evil Cradling, which won the Irish Times Irish Literature Prize for Non-Fiction, the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial prize and the Time-Life P.E.N. Award in 1993. He also co-wrote, with John McCarthy, and account of their journey to Chile, Between Extremes (1999). Brian Keenan lives outside Dublin with his wife and two children.