Blaise Cendrars was born Frï¿½dï¿½ric-Louis Sauser in Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland on September 1, 1887. He left school in 1904 to work as an apprentice to a clockmaker in St. Petersburg. While fighting for the French in World War I, he lost his right arm, but taught himself to type left-handed. He wrote novels, poems, plays, and short stories. His first novel, L'Or, which focused on the California gold rush, was eventually made into the American movie Sutter's Gold. His other works include Christmas at the Four Corners of the Earth, Rhum, Lice, and the long poem Easter in New York. He chronicled his experiences in Hollywood in articles for Paris-Soir, which was published as a book, Hollywood: Mecca of the Movies, in 1995. He was considered a prime catalyst of the modernist movement and received the Prix Litteraire de la Ville de Paris. He died on January 21, 1961 at the age of 74.
Alan Brown is a former member of the Scottish National Orchestra. He now works as a freelance musician, with several leading UK orchestras, and as a consultant in music and IT. Alan has had several compositions published, developed a set of music theory CD-Roms, co-written a series of Bass Guitar Examination Handbooks and worked on over 100 further titles.