Little Bee (The Other Hand)
Chris Cleave's 2005 debut, <em>Incendiary</em>, is a novel made up of letters to Osama Bin Laden, written by a woman who has lost her husband and son in a bomb attack. (You might have seen the movie version with Ewan McGregor.)
Cleave is a columnist for the "Family" section of <em>The</em> <em>Guardian</em>. For two years he wrote a humorous column on parenting. If you like the character of Charlie, you'll probably like Cleave's column too.
Little Bee is inspired by the true story of Manuel Bravo, an Angolan man seeking asylum in the UK with his family. Bravo killed himself in 2005 to avoid his son's deportation back to Angola (source).
The character of Charlie is based on Cleave's own son, who was four years old when Cleave was writing <em>Little Bee.</em> Like Charlie, Cleave's son had a serious attachment to his Batman costume (source).
Chris Cleave has had lots of interesting jobs. According to his bio, he's been "a barman, a long-distance sailor and teacher of marine navigation [and] an Internet pioneer and a journalist" (source).