Jan Needle

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Jan Needle (b. 1943) is a British author, who, as he says on his website, does "a bit of everything". Needle's work includes fiction for children (e.g., My Mate Shofiq), fiction for adults (partially published under the pseudonym 'Frank Kippax', e.g., Other People’s Blood) and a series of naval fiction revolving around his hero William Bentley (e.g., A Fine Boy for Killing).

In his mid-twenties Needle left journalism to start a career as a writer, beginning with playwriting and later short stories and novels.

Needle writes from an openly admitted political left-wing angle, his main themes being brutality, exploitation, racism, and poverty. Thus he was able to add to the genre of naval (adventure) fiction a new perspective in his William Bentley books by depicting eighteenth-century naval life as extremely brutal, bleak, and marked by deprivation for the common sailor, a fact most "officer centred" naval fiction chooses not to explore.