I am a novelist and short story writer based in Norwich in the UK. I grew up in Yorkshire and Hong Kong until I moved back to the UK to study English Literature at the University of Cambridge.
After working for Random House, I studied for the Masters in Creative Writing at UEA, where I wrote my first novel, The Godless Boys. This was published in the UK (Picador) and Norway (Font) in 2011. The film option to The Godless Boys has been sold, and I’ve been lucky enough to work with some wonderful people on the screenplay. More on that soon… hopefully.
I stayed on at UEA for a fully-funded PhD: this was where Mrs. Hemingway was born. My research took me as far afield as Chicago, Boston, Key West, Cuba, Antibes and Paris. I also spent time as a resident scholar at the Library of Congress in Washington DC, and was the British Library’s 2012 Eccles Centre Writer in Resident. Mrs. Hemingway had been published in sixteen countries and the film option has been sold. More on that soon (again). In 2014 it won a Jerwood Prize, was shortlisted for the International Dylan Thomas Prize, and was a Richard and Judy Bookclub Choice.
My third novel, The Hiding Game, was published in 2019. It takes place in the gloriously anarchic Bauhaus art school in the 1920s, following the fate of a group of artists until the Nazi seize power in 1933. It was published in the UK in 2019, the Bauhaus centenary, and was also published in Germany and the Czech Republic. In 2020 it was longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, and shortlisted for the Historical Writers’ Association Gold Crown.
I am currently working on a collection of short stories about motherhood. Some of these stories were shortlisted for the Manchester Fiction Prize (2022) and the London Magazine Short Story Prize (2022).
I am very proud to teach on the MA in Creative Writing at my alma mater, the University of East Anglia. I have also taught at Goldsmiths, where I was one of the 2017 judges of the Goldsmiths Prize.
Credit: Christa Holka
Hi Naomi – i just finished watching your interview on the BBC – Meet the Author – and thought you were fantastic, especially on that very unfair question at the end!! I am intrigued and will certainly be seeking out your book to read. Best, Kate
Thank you Kate! My first bit of TV, so I’m just glad I managed to get out the right words in the right order!
Loved loved Mrs H. Beautifully written, engaging and totally tantalising. I will now go purchase The Godless Boys. With thanks, Tanya
Naomi, much enjoyed your talk at the Greenwich book festival which has inspired me to seek out both Mrs Hemingway and The Old Man and the Sea. Just wondering if Old Man is the right introduction to H? Which of his novels would you recommend I start with, given I am a writer in my thirties? PS Good luck with parenting – those first few months are tough but it does get easier!
TOMATS is a great intro to Hem! Other than that I’d perhaps suggest to start at the beginning with my fave The Sun Also Rises. Good luck with your own writing! Naomi x