Writers in Residence 2016
Natasha Pulley lives with her family near Ely, in the fens. She studied English Literature at Oxford University, where she first had the idea for The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. After graduating, Natasha taught English in China for six weeks. It was there that she learned what being a foreigner is. After stints working at Waterstones as a bookseller over Christmas, then at Cambridge University Press as a publishing assistant in the astronomy and maths departments, she did the Creative Writing MA at UEA. When not writing (which is almost never) she likes reading. She loves ghost stories and historical fiction. At the moment she is making her way through as much Japanese literature as she can get her hands on, and she’s learning Japanese (slowly). She writes because fiction is a much more exciting place than the real world, in which you must buy milk and understand Microsoft Excel.
Rebecca Farmer’s pamphlet ‘Not Really’ was a winner in the 2013/14 Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet Competition judged by Carol Ann Duffy. She was born in Birmingham and her parents both came from Dublin. She read Drama at Manchester University and has an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including The London Magazine, The North, Poetry Review, The Rialto, Smiths Knoll, Under the Radar and The Warwick Review. Rebecca is currently a PhD student at Goldsmiths and is researching the work of Louis MacNeice.
In 2011, Amy Liptrot returned to Orkney for three years after more than a decade living and working as a journalist in London and Edinburgh. During this time, she became increasingly interested in writing about the natural world and island life, including local folklore and history. For the last eight months Amy has been living and writing in Berlin and returns to the UK in October. Amy works as a freelance writer and has recently published essays on urban hawks, the moon, Google Maps and being an islander. Amy’s first published novel is called The Outrun and will be published by Canongate in January 2016. It is a memoir about her rediscovery of the Orkney Islands where she grew up.
Susan Barker grew up in east London. She studied philosophy at the University of Leeds and creative writing at the University of Manchester. She is the author of the novels Sayonara Bar (2005) and The Orientalist and the Ghost (2008), both published by Doubleday (UK) and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. Her third novel The Incarnations (Doubleday, July 2014) is about a taxi driver in contemporary Beijing and interwoven with tales from the Tang Dynasty, the invasion of Genghis Khan, the Ming Dynasty, the Opium War, and the Cultural Revolution. While writing The Incarnations, Susan spent several years living in Beijing, researching modern and imperial China.
"I count myself immensely lucky to have been a Writer in Residence at Gladstone's Library – it was such a productive, energising and fun experience. The library itself is amazing, the people I met really lovely and interesting, and the opportunity to focus on my fiction uninterruptedly for a month was bliss. I was so moved by the generosity of the residency and the kindness and helpfulness of everyone involved in running it. Gladstone’s Library is a uniquely wonderful place."