In 2004, Stephen Clarke, a British journalist, published A Year in the Merde, an almost-true account of what may or may not have happened to him in the ten previous years he'd lived in France. He originally published the novel in an edition of 200 copies, with the intention of selling them through his website, or giving them to his friends. However, following a reading in a Canadian bookshop in Paris and a write-up in a French newspaper, the book became a word-of-mouth bestseller, and was published around the world. To date it has sold over a million copies worldwide. Originally self-published in 2003, A Short History of the Future is Clarke's first novel. He has since gone on to write three more Merde novels, and three non-fiction books, including the Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, 1000 Years of Annoying the French. He lives in Paris, where he divides his time between writing and not writing.