As the result of a transatlantic parental romance, I was born in America and spent my formative years in central Virginia. I came to England to attend Oxford University when I was eighteen, read and wrote for three years, then had to get a job. After some dismal office work and some even more dismal waitressing, I now work at Heywood Hill bookshop in Mayfair. It’s been there since 1936 and we specialise in monthly book subscriptions tailored to your personal preferences; check it out.
I generally read anywhere between fourteen and twenty books a month (exceptional circumstances have resulted in much lower or higher figures in given months). Most of these fall somewhere on the spectrum of “literary fiction”; my genre reading tends to be on the literary end of historical fiction, science fiction and fantasy, occasional crime and horror, and narrative nonfiction. Favoured authors include (but are not limited to) James Baldwin, Lucia Berlin, Octavia Butler, A.S. Byatt, Ted Chiang, Zen Cho, George Eliot, Bernardine Evaristo, Jasper Fforde, Tana French, Elizabeth Gaskell, Nicola Griffith, Sarah Hall, Thomas Hardy, Siri Hustvedt, Gayl Jones, Olivia Laing, Ursula LeGuin, Audre Lorde, Jon McGregor, China Mieville, Sarah Moss, Tim Pears, Richard Powers, Namwali Serpell, Zadie Smith, Francis Spufford, Neal Stephenson, Anthony Trollope, Elise Valmorbida, Jeff VanderMeer, and Colson Whitehead.
I used to write sporadically but enthusiastically for Litro Magazine and helped to establish Quadrapheme Magazine (now defunct). I completed my first novel, Hungry Generations, in 2019 and am seeking representation for it. My current creative project is a medical memoir-cum-history of Type I diabetes. I’ve been on the Women’s Prize and Young Writer of the Year Award shadow panels, and will be on the official judging panel for the 2022 Barbellion Prize. My academic interests include eighteenth-century literature (with particular interest in depictions of sex workers), sexuality, queerness, colonialism and capitalism.
If you are a publicist: please read the above paragraph before asking me to read one of your books. At the moment I am not accepting requests for reviews or blog tours. If there is something you think I might like to read, please send a hard copy to the shop address: FAO Eleanor, Heywood Hill Bookshop, 10 Curzon Street, London W1J 5HH.
You can follow me on Twitter here, on Instagram here, and on Goodreads here, though I may not be active on Goodreads for much longer. I have LinkedIn but don’t check it (…at all.) If you’re a current or former Year in Books subscriber, or are interested in the subscription service, please use my professional email to get in touch: eleanor at heywoodhill dot com.
If you like what I write, why not buy me a coffee?