all authors a-z
Arguably the finest British novelist of the Second World War, Alexander Baron (1917–99) enlisted in the army in 1939. His experience fighting in Sicily and at the D-day landings informed his bestselling novels, From the City, from the Plough (1948), There’s No Home (1950) and The Human Kind (1953). He went on to write fourteen novels and several screenplays.
Simon Bill studied at the RCA and St Martin’s College and is closely associated with the YBA group of visual artists. He has had solo exhibitions in California, Cologne, London, Manchester and, most recently, a major retrospective at Baltic, Gateshead. Artist in Residence is his first work of fiction.
Peter Blegvad is a polymath – a writer, cartooonist, and, most often a musician. He was a founding member of the avant-pop band Slapp Happy (“the Douanier Rousseau of rock’n’roll”), and has played and recorded with Faust, The Golden Palominos, John Greaves, Andy Partridge, and others, as well as recording a half dozen solo albums.
Jane Bowles wrote very little: just one novel – Two Serious Ladies; a play – In the Summer House and just over a dozen short stories, collected together with some notable letters in our edition of Everything is Nice. It was enough to establish a reputation as one of the twentieth century’s most original fiction writers.
Paul Bowles was born in Queens, New York, in 1910. He began his travels as a teenager, setting off for Paris, telling no one of his plans. In 1930 he visited Morocco for the first time, with Aaron Copland, with whom he was studying music. His early reputation was as a composer and he wrote the scores for several Tennessee Williams plays.
Jonathan Buckley was born in Birmingham, grew up in Dudley, and studied English Literature at Sussex University, where he stayed on to take an MA. From there he moved to King’s College, London, where he researched the work of the Scottish poet/artist Ian Hamilton Finlay. After working as a university tutor, stage hand, maker of theatrical sets and props, bookshop manager, decorator and builder, he was commissioned in 1987 to write the Rough Guide to Venice & the Veneto.
Tom Bullough is the author of three novels: A and The Claude Glass (both published by Sort Of Books), and, most recently, Konstantin (Penguin).
He was born in 1975 and spent most of his childhood on a hill farm in Radnorshire, which looked a lot like Penllan in The Claude Glass and was the source of his enthusiasm for Wales, hills, castles, birds of prey and How Tom Beat Captain Najork and His Hired Sportsmen by Russell Hoban. As a student, he spent three years at Royal Holloway College, University of London. His first novel A is in its debt.
Maria Edgeworth (1768–1849) was the second child of Anglo-Irish Richard Lovell Edgeworth, a political liberal and enlightened educator. Her pioneering regional novels set in Ireland and sparkling comedies of high-life English manners, from Belinda (1801) to Patronage (1814) to Helen (1834), commanded unprecedented advances and were major best-sellers. They followed the success of her first book, Castle Rackrent, a satire on Anglo-Irish landlords which was submitted and published anonymously.
Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 35 languages and over 50 territories. In 2014 she was commissioned to write a new mystery novel starring Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective. The Monogram Murders was an international bestseller, reaching the top five in the book charts in more than fifteen countries.
Kathleen Jamie was born in the west of Scotland in 1962. Her poetry collections to date include The Overhaul (Picador, 2012), winner of Costa Prize for Poetry in 2012; The Tree House (Picador, 2004), winner of both the Forward prize, and the Scottish Book of the Year Award; Jizzen (Picador, 1999) which won the Geoffey Faber Memorial Award and Mr and Mrs Scotland are Dead which was shortlisted for the 2003 Griffin Prize.
The writer and artist Tove Jansson (1914–2001) is best known as the creator of the Moomin stories, which were first published in English sixty years ago and have remained in print ever since. Sort Of began its association with Tove’s work in 2001 by re-issuing her amazing cut-out tour de force, The Book of Moomin, Mymble and Little My, followed by two other large format illustrated Moomin books, Who Will Comfort Toffle? and The Dangerous Journey.
Robert Kunzig is a multiple award-winning science writer. He is the author of two books: Mapping the Deep (Sort Of Books), which won the Aventis Science Book of the Year award, and Fixing Climate (Sort Of Books/Profile Books), with the pioneering earth scientist Professor Wally Broecker – the man who inadvertently coined the term ‘global warming’. Formerly European editor of Discover magazine, Kunzig is currently environment editor at National Geographic.
Simon Lewis was born in Wales in 1971. He works as a screenwriter (for Potboiler Films, Cloud 8 and Channel 4) and travel writer (for Rough Guides), as well as writing novels.
Ulla-Lena Lundberg is an acclaimed and prize-winning Finland-Swedish novelist and ethnologist. She has published more than twenty works of fiction and non-fiction. Born in Kökar in the Åland Islands, an upbringing that she draws upon in Ice, Lundberg has lived and worked in the USA, England, and also Japan, Africa and Siberia.
Christopher Nye was born and raised in West Sussex. His childhood ambitions were to become a Zulu, and then a diplomat, but thwarted by poor A level grades he settled for a course in hotel and catering management at Leeds Poly. His subsequent career ranged from sculpting celery on a Caribbean cruise ship to running the crêpe stand on Brighton pier, before he hit on the plan of bringing his unique Diner cuisine to the people of small town Britain, starting out with Uckfield.
Lore Segal (born 1928) is an American novelist, translator, children’s author and teacher. Other People’s Houses (1958) was the first of her five novels. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and is a regular contributor to the New Yorker, the New York Times Book Review and the New Republic.
Chris Stewart shot to fame with Driving Over Lemons in 1999. Funny, insightful and real, the book told the story of how he bought a peasant farm in a remote valley in Andalucia – sited on the wrong side of the river, with no water or electricity, and with its previous owner still in residence.
Carl Frode Tiller was born in 1970 in the provincial Norwegian town of Namsos. He is the author of five novels – the last three forming the Encircling trilogy – and four plays; all of them are written in the distinctive language of nynorsk (‘new Norwegian’). One of the most acclaimed Scandianvian authors of his generation, Tiller has received multiple prizes, including the EU Prize for Literature and Nordic Critics Prize, and his Encircling trilogy has been twice nominated for the Nordic Council’s Prize.
Jasper Winn grew up in West Cork, where he left school at age ten and educated himself by reading, riding horses, learning rural skills and playing music. It was an upbringing that has shaped a lifetime of travel and writing.
He has journeyed across the Atlas with nomadic Berbers, canoed along the Danube, and often crosses countries on horseback. He was story consultant on the IMAX film, Ride Around the World, about the world’s horse cultures.
Boel Westin is Professor of Literature at the University of Stockholm. She has published works on Lewis Carroll, August Strindberg, and has recently edited, with Helen Svensson, the Collected Letters of Tove Jansson.
Gabriel Zaid lives in Mexico City with the artist Basia Batorska, her paintings, three cats, and ten thousand books.
Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) was born into a wealthy Austrian-Jewish family. The most widely translated writer of the 1920s and 1930s, he was closely identified with the humanitarian and tolerant values of pre-war Vienna. With the rise of Nazism he was forced into exile, first in London, then New York and finally Brazil, where he committed suicide in a pact with his wife. The manuscript for The Post Office Girl, his second novel, was found among his papers. This is the first time it has been translated into English. Zweig’s other celebrated works are the novel Beware of Pityand the novella, Chess Story.