Harry Crews was born in Alma, Georgia on June 7, 1935. He served three years in the Marines then entered the University of Florida on the G.I. Bill. He received a bachelor's degree in literature in 1960, followed by a master's in education. He taught at Broward Community College and wrote copy for Nelson Boswell's radio show Challenge the Response. His first novel, The Gospel Singer, was published in 1968. His other works include Karate Is a Thing of the Spirit, Car, The Hawk Is Dying, The Gypsy's Curse, A Feast of Snakes, The Knockout Artist, Scar Lover, and Celebration. He also wrote a memoir entitled A Childhood: The Biography of a Place. He died from complications of neuropathy on March 28, 2012 at the age of 76.