The multitalented Clive Barker is one of the most popular horror and fantasy authors of the late 20th century. He is also an artist and a playwright, and he has directed several films and created a few video games.
Barker was born into a working-class family in Liverpool, England. He began to be published as an author during the 1980s, and his first novel, The Damnation Game, was a best seller. Unhappy with early filmed versions of his works, he adapted The Hellbound Heart into the movie Hellraiser and directed it himself.
There is a strong tendency toward body horror in Barker's works. He is openly gay. This is sometimes reflected metaphorically in his works and is also often brought out explicitly. He frequently uses sexual situations to challenge his readers. There is a fantasy element to many of his works, some of which are intended for children.