Andy Mulligan was born and raised in South London. After completing university in the United Kingdom, he worked as a theater director and he had grand ambitions of running the Royal Shakespeare Company. However, the economic downturn in Britain under Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher left Mulligan out of work in the 1980s, resulting in a life-changing visit to Calcutta, India, where a friend was repairing an orphanage.
Mulligan’s exposure to poverty in India made him question his life’s path and he returned to Britain to retrain as a teacher, after which he taught in Cornwall, England; Vietnam; Brazil; and the Philippines. It was Mulligan’s exposure to children living on a landfill in the Philippines that inspired Trash, which he wrote while working as a teacher in Manila, though he drew on his experiences with impoverished communities in several cultures to flesh out the story and characters.
Mulligan published his first young adult novel, Ribblestrop, in 2009, though it was the publication of Trash in 2010 that garnered him international acclaim as a writer—despite the fact that Trash sparked significant controversy over its depictions of violence and its use of profanity. Mulligan subsequently wrote seven additional young adult novels before turning his hand to adult fiction in 2019.
Read another of Andy Mulligan's books in our library: