Patrick Kavanagh was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Based mainly in Ottawa, he has spent long periods living abroad. While in Beijing he acted as research assistant to the Chinese translators of James Joyce’s Ulysses, and at the same time he completed his own first novel, Gaff Topsails. In recent years he has focused on travel writing and on non-fiction related to international development and human rights. He has been a supporter of Amnesty International, PEN Canada, the Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, and the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference in Vermont.