Alexander Trocchi, the author of Cain’s Book and Young Adam, was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1925. During the 1950s and 1960s he lived mainly in Paris and New York and gained fame as one of the most talented writers, in both prose and poetry, of the period.
In addition, he, along with Richard Seaver and Austryn Wainhouse, edited Merlin, one of the most noted literary journals of its day, which published works by Ionesco, Beckett, Sartre and others. At the same time he was actively involved in the operations of the famed Olympia Press, and produced a number of pornographic novels for that publishing house. Although the autobiographical Cain’s Book became a best-seller, after its publication Trocchi’s work was largely limited to short stories (including the collection The Outsiders) and poetry (including the volume Man at Leisure.) He never completed another novel and died in 1984.