JOHN LANCHESTER

John Lanchester is an award-winning novelist and cultural critic, renowned on both sides of the Atlantic for his insightful and entertaining essays on diverse subjects from finance to food. His highly acclaimed debut novel, The Debt to Pleasure (1996), was translated into more than 20 languages and won four major literary awards, including the coveted Whitbread First Novel Award and the Hawthornden Prize for ‘imaginative literature’. Subsequent novels include Mr Phillips (2000), which was heralded as ‘a great English Existentialist novel’, and Fragrant Harbour (2002), the story of four people whose intertwined lives span 70 years of Hong Kong history. His most recent work of fiction, Capital (2012), is a much-applauded state-of-the-nation novel set on a single London street during the global financial crisis. His bestselling non-fiction account of the crash, Whoops! Why Everyone Owes Everyone and No One Can Pay (2010), was widely praised for its brilliantly sharp, witty and accessible analysis. 

Born in Hamburg in 1962, Lanchester grew up in the Far East and England, read English at Oxford, and now lives in London. He has worked as a football reporter, obituary writer, book editor and restaurant critic. His memoir, Family Romance (2007), is a candid portrait of his relationship with his parents that pieces together his mother’s hidden past. He is Contributing Editor of the London Review of Books and writes regularly for several leading newspapers and magazines including the New YorkerGranta, the Guardian and the Observer. His latest book Capital (2012) is a post-crash, state-of-the-nation novel told with compassion, humour and truth.