Stan Barstow was born in 1928 in the West Riding of Yorkshire. His father was a coal miner, and he was the only son.
He attended Ossett Grammar School, and left at sixteen to join a local engineering firm, working in the drawing office. Seven years later, he moved to a similar position in another firm, and from there moved into the sales department.
He started writing in the fifties, and had some short stories broadcast by the BBC. His first published work (as Stanley Barstow) was the short story The Search for Tommy Flynn in number 8 of the Putnam series of books Pick of Today's Short Stories in 1957. (This story was reprinted in The Desperadoes in 1962.)
An unpublished novel in 1956 was followed by A Kind of Loving in 1960. This was a major success, and was made into a film starring Alan Bates and June Ritchie. Since then he has been a full time writer, and has written eleven novels and three books of short stories. He has also written TV scripts and for the radio and theatre.
His books have been translated into several languages, and are widely read in schools.
He is an honorary Master of Arts of the Open University, and also a Fellow of Academi (the Welsh National Literature Promotion Agency).
He was married for thirty-nine years, and has two children. He has lived for most of his life in his native Yorkshire, but has recently moved to South Wales. His latest book is his autobiography, In My Own Good Time, which was published in October 2001.