Irmgard Keun was born in Berlin in 1905, although she maintained throughout her life that it was in 1910. After trying her luck as an actress, she began to write in 1929 and found instant success with her early novels, which were blacklisted by the Nazis for their 'immoral' depictions of the Modern Young Woman. From 1936 to 1938 she travelled through Europe with the writer Joseph Roth and published several novels, including Child of All Nations in 1938. Roth died in 1939 and Keun spent the war in Germany, living semi-legally under an assumed name. Following the war, she made a living writing humorous sketches for radio and magazines, published one more novel and had a daughter, whom she brought up alone. At the end of her life, her books gained a new following from a younger generation of feminists. Irmgard Keun died in 1982 aged 77 -- or, as she would have claimed, 72.