Tariq Mehmood was born in Pakistan and was brought to England in 1967 aged around seven to nine. He grew up in Bradford, where he was bussed to school (this racist practice was later suspended). He became homeless aged 16 and lived in parks and derelict buildings. He was a founding member of the Asian Youth Movement and United Black Youth league.
In 1981 he was imprisoned on terrorism charges as a part of ‘The Bradford 12’, who were all later acquitted. He wrote his first novel whilst he was on remand in Armley jail in Leeds. His novels are set against a backdrop of migration, war, identity, longing, loss and love. He is the co-director of the awardwinning documentary Injustice about deaths in police custody. He has three children and lives in Manchester.