Laurence Seidler

The bastard son of a casino boss and a courtesan, I grew up in Africa climbing trees and lolling in the paddling pool with Vanessa, my eight year old girlfriend. The shock of London followed before I was paroled to the fantasy world that is Cambridge University. There I studied History, drinking and the clumsy rudiments of seduction.

Not having the faintest idea of what I should do next, I put off making any decisions and went East to India and beyond with the invulnerability of youth and a change of underpants. When my money and intestinal fluid ran out I returned to London where I squatted, wrote poetry, an Arts Council financed play, was shortlisted by Penguin books as a young writer with talent and generally misbehaved for a decade.

But somehow the tentacles of the grown-up world snagged and ended my random adventures and without any encouragement from me, I found myself one of the others : those that “do” and who keep society working. Numerous professions followed including TV ad director, journalist, architect, robotics developer, scrap metal dealer and sex worker (with hindsight I realise I was just working in the family business.)

Time and time again I told myself I would return to my first love, writing, only for the phone to ring with an offer of work too tempting to refuse. I guess I was also addicted to the large sums of money people were willing to pay me. But then a miracle. I lost the lot. The fridge that once housed wild smoked salmon and rare cheeses, now held nothing more exotic than half a tomato. What to do? I had children who needed feeding and the roof was leaking. I had no seed capital and had done so many things in my life that I was too confusing for any potential employer to understand. Ah, but I had my mind, my memories, and time. I began writing one cold winter's night and have never stopped except to fix the roof. Busy Being Born is my first English novel and I now live as a recluse with my wife, son, and various reptiles in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalucía.

Laurence Seidler's Books

ISBN: 9781835740323


Busy Being Born

28 Sep 2024

Busy Being Born charts the rise and fall of a young graduate working in the sex trade. Read wide-eyed as Lady Trocknell introduces our hero to the pleasures of service, recoil at the antics of a bevy of bankers, and share in the sorrow of his eventual fall from grace. Humanity is laid bare and dissected in this extraordinary, fictionalised autobiography where intellect, compassion, and outrageous flights of fantasy somehow work together to create literary magic.

Set in 1980s London, each chapter recreates another episode in the author's journey through the dark underbelly of human desire. However, the portrayal of sex, while real and true, is also all analogy: a visceral means of recounting other societal excesses like the rise of money to Godlike status.

Clever, provocative, and resilient, Busy Being Born is a living gauntlet where the reader is as likely to laugh as to cry.

“Busy Being Born is strangely beautiful and Seidler a genuine powerful new talent.”

Mark Booth, editor at Hodder & Stoughton

“Seidler is a gifted writer. His new book deserves a wide audience for its imaginative and powerful writing that pulls you in and leaves you wanting more.”

Andrew Trimbee, former Daily Telegraph journalist and author of The Inshallah Paper.


Son of a casino boss and a courtesan, Laurence Seidler grew up in Africa before studying History at Cambridge. He pursued numerous professions including TV ad director, journalist, architect, robotics developer, scrap metal dealer and sex worker. Laurence now lives as a recluse with his wife, son, and various reptiles in the Sierra Nevada mountains of Andalucía, where he writes full time. Busy Being Born is his first English novel.