Photo courtesy of Charlie Hopkinson
Amanda Craig is a British novelist, short-story writer and critic. Born in South Africa in 1959, she grew up in Italy, where her parents worked for the UN, and was educated at Bedales School and Clare College Cambridge.
After a brief time in advertising and PR, she became a journalist for newspapers such as The Sunday Times, the Observer, The Daily Telegraph and the Independent, winning both the Young Journalist of the Year and the Catherine Pakenham Award. She was the children’s critic for The Independent on Sunday and The Times, and one of the first to spot the Harry Potter books, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, Twilight, How to Train Your Dragon and The Hunger Games.
She still reviews children’s books for The New Statesman, and literary fiction for The Observer, but is mostly a full-time novelist. Her seventh novel, Hearts And Minds, was long-listed for the Bailey’s Prize for Women’s Fiction, and her eighth, The Lie of the Land, was a Radio 4 Book At Bedtime, a YOU Magazine Book Club choice and picked by six national newspapers as a Book of the Year in 2018.
In 2020 she publishes The Golden Rule with Little,Brown UK. Inspired by both Patricia Highsmith’s classic Strangers on a Train and the fairy-tale of Beauty and the Beast, it has been picked as a Book to Look For in 2020 by The Times, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Financial Times and the Observer.
Each novel can be read separately but is part of an interconnected contemporary cast of characters, in which minor protagonists become major. Though her novels often contain a detective or genre plot, they are literary fiction, most often compared to Dickens and Balzac. She is regarded as a state of the nation novelist, commenting on the gulf between rich and poor.