Michael Viney was born in Brighton in 1933. He settled in Ireland in 1961 and joined the Irish Times, where he wrote many pioneering series on Irish social issues. He also presented current affairs programmes for RTÉ and contributed to the BBC World Service. In 1977 Michael and his wife Ethna moved to Thallabawn, County Mayo, in search of a self-reliant country life and he began his renowned weekly column ‘Another Life’ for the Irish Times. He had directed wildlife films on two Irish scientific expeditions to Greenland, and other documentaries shown on RTÉ, Channel 4 and BBC Northern Ireland. In 1996 he published A Year’s Turning, an account of life at Thallabawn. An immediate success, it was highly commended by the judges of the BP Natural World Book Prize in 1996 and in 2001 was the inspiration for an RTÉ television series made by Michael, Ethna and their daughter Michele.