James Clavell was born in 1924 into a Royal Navy family. He joined the British Royal Artillery and served in the Second World War, spending some time as a prisoner of war in the notorious Changi prison near Singapore. He later moved into writing, producing and directing films - he wrote the screenplay for The Great Escape. He was also a popular and acclaimed novelist, particularly for his East-meets-West epic SHOGUN. Clavell published his translation of THE ART OF WAR in 1983. He died in 1994.