Joseph Kertes was born in Hungary and came to Canada as a young boy. He studied English at York and the University of Toronto and was encouraged to write by Irving Layton and Marshall McLuhan. He was the founder of the Humber School for Writers and was for many years Dean of the School of Creative and Performing Arts at Humber College. He is the author of seven books of fiction, including Winter Tulips, which won the Stephen Leacock Award for Humour, Gratitude, which won a National Jewish Book Award and the U.S. National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, The Afterlife of Stars, which was a NYTimes Book Editor's pick, and Last Impressions, which was nominated for a City of Toronto Book Award and was a finalist for the Leacock Award. Kertes was also the recipient of the 2017 Harbourfront Festival Prize for contribution to literature and the arts.