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I read History at Trinity College, Cambridge, where I was a Senior Scholar. I graduated with a Double First.


My first novel, The Great Stink, was published by Viking in 2005 after a five-way auction: critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, The Great Stink was long-listed for the Orange Prize, won the Pendleton May First Novel award in the UK and the Quality Paperback Book Club New Voices award in the USA. It was a Washington Post Best Book of the Year. 


I have since published five more books: The Nature of Monsters; Savage Lands, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2010; Beautiful Lies; We That Are Left; and In the Full Light of the SunTrespass will be published by Virago on 18th August 2022.

My work has been translated into six languages.

I am a regular contributor to the Guardian’s literary pages, reviewing both fiction and non-fiction; I write for a number of other newspapers and magazines, both in the UK and the USA. I am a frequent chair at literary events, and sit on the Advisory Board of Cheltenham Literature Festival. 

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