2022 Clapham Book Festival Authors

Sir Antony Beevor                 the eminent historian, was  elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1999 and the Royal Historical Society in 2017. In 2014 he received the Pritzker Literature Award for Lifetime Achievement in Military Writing, and in 2016 the Norton Medlicott Medal for Service to History. He was awarded a knighthood in the 2017 New Year’s Honours List.  He is also Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and Commandeur de l’Ordre de la Couronne.  Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London, he was a member of the academic advisory committee for the European Centre for Tolerance and Reconciliation until 2021. His books have received many prestigious awards and prizes.

Dr Piers Brendon                  is the author of more than a dozen books, including biographies of Churchill and Eisenhower, the best-selling Eminent Edwardians; the highly acclaimed The Decline and Fall of the British Empire and, most recently, Eminent Elizabethans. He also writes for television and contributes frequently to the national press. Formerly Keeper of the Churchill Archives Centre, he is a Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Dame  Jenni Murray  DBE            Broadcaster, journalist and writer, she presented BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour for more than thirty years.  She has written numerous acclaimed books including A History of the World in 21 Women and Fat Cow, Fat Chance; the science and pyschology of size. She has honorary degrees from a number of universities.

Abir Mukherjee                the Times bestselling author of the Wyndham & Banerjee series of crime novels set in Raj-era India which have sold over 250,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages. His books have won numerous awards including the CWA Dagger for best Historical Novel, the Prix du Polar Européen, the Wilbur Smith Award for Adventure Writing and the Amazon Publishing Readers Award for E-book for the Year.

Julie Anderson*           is  co-founder of the Clapham Book Festival.  Her latest crime thriller Opera is the third in the series which began with Plague “A fascinating and authoritative insider view of modern power politics that is all too frighteningly prescient.” V B Grey.  “.

Elizabeth Buchan*                Clapham-based novelist and co-founder of the Clapham Book Festival, Elizabeth’s latest novel in a highly successful writing career is Two Women of Rome. Her writing has garnered much praise:  “Skill and elegance… no one writes a cliffhanger scene like Buchan” said The Week and “Buchan has a gift for understanding the complexity and ambiguity of human emotions” – E.C. Fremantle


Previous Clapham Book Festival Authors

kate-adie-by-ken-lennoxKate Adie                    National and international award-winning TV and radio reporter and former Chief News Correspondent for the BBC  Kate Adie has covered some of the most memorable and momentous events across the globe. She is the long running presenter of Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent and has been a judge for the Orange Prize for Fiction, now the Bailey’s, and the Whitbread, now the Costa Prize, and recently, the RSL Ondaatje Prize. Her latest publication Fighting on the Home Front: The Legacy of Women in WWI has garnered wide-spread praise.

Rosanna Amaka          Rosanna’s debut novel The Book of Echoes was short-listed for the HWA Debut Crown 2021. She began writing to give voice to the Brixton community in which she grew up, a community fast disappearing as a result of gentrification, emigration to the Caribbean and Africa or with the passing away of the older generation. “Impassioned, lyrical and affecting” The Guardian. “An absorbing debut” Sunday Express.

Laura Barnett*              Best-selling author of The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett, who was born and grew up in Clapham, appeared at the Book Festival 2016 in Clapham Library.  Her latest novel Greatest Hits was published in June 2017.


Matthew Beaumont*        Professor at University College, London, Matthew is also the author of a number of books on literature, including Nightwalking; A Nocturnal History of London. Matthew took part in the discussion Place & the Writer at Clapham Book Festival 2016.

robin-blake-auth-photoRobin Blake    is a critically acclaimed novelist, art critic and biographer of Stubbs and Van Dyke, his eighteenth century crime novels are set in the pre-industrial north of England and feature Coroner Titus Cragg and local doctor, Luke Fidelis.  ‘This is rollicking stuff. Cragg and Fidelis are an engaging duo, and their first investigation is like crossing Robert Louis Stevenson with The Archers Financial Times

Ursula Buchan                    is an award-winning journalist, who now concentrates mainly on social and cultural history but had always wanted to write the definitive biography of her grandfather John Buchan. Best known for The Thirty-Nine Steps, ‘JB’ is an intriguing personality, a scholar, antiquarian, barrister, colonial administrator, journal editor, literary critic, publisher, war correspondent, director of wartime propaganda, member of parliament and imperial proconsul – given a state funeral when he died, a deeply admired and loved Governor-General of Canada.

M.J.Carter*                   Crime writer Miranda Carter, the author of the Blake & Avery series of detective novels, appeared at the Clapham Book Festival 2016 at Clapham Library, in the discussion Crime in the Afternoon.  Miranda lives and writes in Clapham. Her latest novel is The Devil’s Feast featuring her Victorian detective duo.


Natasha Cooper               Crime writer and former Chair of the Crime Writers Association, Natasha Cooper’s sleuth Trish MacGuire has featured in a series of nine books, her civil servant detective Willow King in seven and her forensic psychologist Dr Karen Taylor in four.  She has just started writing again after a 7-year break, in between broadcasting, reviewing, writing features and short stories, and talking to reading groups and literary festivals in the UK and USA. She is a former Clapham resident.

Emma Darwin          Emma was born and brought up in London and now lives locally to Clapham.  Her first novel The Mathematics of Love ( Headline Review, 2006) was listed for the Commonwealth Writers Best First Book and the Romantic Novelists’ Book of the Year. Her second A Secret Alchemy (Headline Review 2009) was a Sunday Times Bestseller.  She has a doctorate in creative writing and teaches for the Open University, but also acts as an editor and writing mentor.  She blogs regularly at This Itch of Writing giving useful suggestions for aspiring authors and advice about the publishing industry.

Bobbie Derbyshire*                              Bobbie is a novelist and writer based in south London. She appeared at the 2016 Clapham Book Festival with her insightful lecture  Where Do Novels Come From at Clapham Library. Her latest novel is The Posthumous Adventures of Harry Whitaker ( Sandstone, 2019).

Dame Margaret Drabble               Dame Margaret Drabble is the distinguished and prize-winning author of many novels, most recently, The Dark Flood Rises, exploring aging and death (“…but there’s nothing grim about it” said The Washington Post). She has also written biographies and screenplays and was awarded the 2011 Golden PEN Award for a Lifetime’s Distinguished Service to Literature. 

J.P.Delaney                  j-p-delaney-author-pic-preferredJ.P.Delaney’s best-selling novel  The Girl Before has drawn plaudits from the world of crime and thriller writing. “Dazzling… a pitch-perfect psychological thriller” Lee Child.   Film rights for The Girl Before have been bought by Universal Films with Ron Howard to direct. His latest book is Playing Nice (2020)


Sabine Durrant       Novelist and journalist, her best selling Lie with Me a taut, character-driven psychological thriller,  was a Richard & Judy Book Club Choice.   Her latest novel is Sun Damage was published in June 2022. Sabine appeared at both the 2016 and 2017 editions of the Clapham Book Festival.


Aida Edemariam1Aida Edemariam                won the Ondaatje Prize 2019 for The Wife’s Tale, her “outstanding and highly unusual memoir” of her indomitable Ethiopian grandmother. Lovingly researched, the story moves from Yetemegnu’s birth to her marriage (at the age of eight) to a cleric and poet two decades her senior, through fascist occupation, the rise and fall of Haile Selassie, revolution and civil war. Edemariam, who grew up in Addis Ababa and is of Ethiopian and Canadian heritage was drawn to her grandmother’s stories “because of the language and verve with which she told them.


Elizabeth Fremantle          Author of novels set in the Tudor and Jacobean periods, her  The Girl in the Glass Tower‘is a 2016 Times Book of the Year  “A top-notch literary thriller. Shots are fired, troths are plighted, sea voyages taken, escapes dared and mysteries solved.”  Daily Telegraph. “Five-star historical fiction Daily Mail.  Her latest novel is The Honey and the Sting ( 2018, Penguin )

FrankGardner3Frank Gardner OBE                A scholar of the Middle East and the Arab world and BBC correspondent in the region – he was shot by terrorists in Saudi Arabia, which left him confined to a wheelchair – he initially put pen to paper in a riveting memoir, Blood & Sand. His first thriller, Crisis, was published in 2016 and was a Sunday Times bestseller, followed two years later by Ultimatum.  Both novels feature Luke Carlton as an agent trained by MI6.

Michael Glover*         is a Sheffield-born poet, art critic and editor of The Bow- Wow Shop,  an international poetry forum. Now based in Clapham, his collections of poetry include Impossible Horizons, Amidst all this Debris, For the Sheer Hell of Living and Only So Much. His memoir of growing up in Sheffield, Headlong into Pennilessness, was published in 2011.


Isabelle Grey                Novelist Isabelle Grey appeared at the 2016 edition of the Clapham Book Festival at Clapham Library in the discussion Crime in the Afternoon. She is the creator of Di Grace Fisher. Isabelle’s latest novel Sisterhood was published in 2021.  “A heart-rending exploration of the effect on one family of secrets kept for too long” Carolyn Kirby. She lives in Dulwich.

Henry Hemming*             London-born Henry Hemming is the author of five works of non-fiction including M, or Agent M in the US, In Search of the English EccentricMisadventure in the Middle East (shortlisted for the Dolman Travel Book Award), and Churchill’s Iceman, published in the US as The Ingenious Mr Pyke, where it became a New York Times bestseller. He has also written for The Sunday Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Times, The Economist, FT Magazine and The Washington Post.

Philip Gwyn Jones         Philip Gwyn Jones is a seasoned editor and publisher with 25 years’ high experience at the heart of literary publishing in the UK. His early career was at HarperCollins UK, first as editorial director of Fontana Press and then as publisher of Flamingo. More recently, he was Executive Publisher at Granta and Portobello Books (which he founded in 2004) and is currently Editor-at-Large at ScribeUK, where he buys both fiction and non-fiction.

Vaseem Khan           Vaseem Khan writes the bestselling Malabar House crime novels set in 1950s Bombay. The first, Midnight at Malabar House won the prestigious  CWA Historical Dagger He also wrote the  Baby Ganesh Detective Agency  crime series featuring contemporary Indian detective Ashwin Chopra and his baby elephant sidekick.  Vaseem is also the author of one of this year’s Quick Reads books – a national initiative to improve literacy. He speaks extensively on this and on diversity in publishing.


Cecilia Knapp                   Cecilia Knapp is a writer, performer, theatre maker and poet. She has headlined at some of the UK’s top poetry nights and performed at festivals such as Bestival, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness as well as taking work to the Edinburgh Fringe and Cheltenham Literature Festival. Her one woman spoken word show, Finding Home, was published in 2017; her debut poetry collection is due to be published by Burning Books in 2018 and she is writing her first novel. She has also been an artist in residence at the Roundhouse and at Pimlico Library.

Patrice Lawrence               Brought up in an Italian-Trinidadian family in mid-Sussex, Patrice Lawrence now lives in East London.  Her debut young adult novel  Orangeboy won the Waterstones  Children’s Book Prize 2017, The Bookseller YA Book Prize 2017 and was shortlisted for the Costa Children’s Book Award in 2016. Her second novel Indigo Donut was Book of the Week in The Timesthe Observer and The Sunday Times.

 Mark Lawson            A noted journalist, broadcaster and author, Mark Lawson specialises in culture and the arts and is best known for presenting the flagship BBC Radio 4 arts programme Front Row from 1998-2014. He has also written for The Universe, The Times, The Guardian and The Independent.  Twice voted TV Critic of the Year as well as winning many other journalism awards, he currently presents Mark Lawson Talks To… on BBC Four.

Andrew Lownie                     Stalin’s Englishman: The Lives of Guy Burgess won the St andrew-lownie-author-picErmin’s Intelligence Book of the Year award. ‘A magnificent biography…Burgess has all the right ingredients for an engrossing story and Lownie, who has spent 30 years researching this biography, makes the most of it… a narrative as gripping as a thriller.’ –Daily Express. Andrew Lownie is President of the Biographer’s Club and sits on the board of Biographer’s International Association.

Deborah Moggach OBE          A novelist and screenwriter, Deborah has written eighteen novels, including The Ex-Wives, Tulip Fever (being made into the film of the same name), These Foolish Things (renamed as the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel) and Heartbreak Hotel.  She now mixes film and book writing with journalism. She is also a former Chair of the Society of Authors and worked for PEN’s Executive Committee, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Roz Morris*                  Roz is a Clapham-based writer and novelist. She appeared in Readers’ Afternoon at the 2016 Clapham Book Festival. Roz talked about her novel Memories of My Future Life.


Clare Mulley             Clare is the award-winning author of three biographies: The Women Who Flew for Hitler, The Spy Who Loved and The Woman Who Saved the Children, a biography of the controversial Save the Children founder Eglantyne Jebb. As well as media appearances, Clare writes and reviews for The Spectator, The Telegraph and History Today, and was chair of judges for the Historical Writers Association 2017 non-fiction prize. She is a former Clapham resident.

Daljit Nagra       Daljit Nagra was born and brought up in West London and Sheffield  and now lives in London, teaching poetry at Brunel University. His award-winning poetry includes Oh my Rub! published under the pseudonym Khan Singh Kumar and Look We Have Coming to Dover! (which brought him Forward Prizes in 2004 and 2007 for best Single Poem and Best Collection), and Tipoo Sultan’s Incredible White-Man-Eating Tiger Toy-Machine!!! was shortlisted for the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize. Daljit was BBC Radio 4’s first Poet in Residence. He is Chair of the Council of the Royal Society of Literature.

Annemarie Neary*         is an award-winning Irish-born novelist and short story writer. Her crime writing debut novel Sirens has attracted widespread praise.  “A nail-bitingly tense tale, with writing as sharp and pointed as arrows, where nobody is who they say they are … ” Sunday Independent.  Her latest novel ‘The Orphans‘ is a taut, psychological thriller set on Clapham Common.

Michèle Roberts                       is the author of 12 highly acclaimed novels, including The Looking Glass and Daughters of the House (which won the W H Smith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize). Her memoir Paper Houses was BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in 2007 and she has also published poetry and short stories, most recently collected in Mud-stories of sex and love. Half English and half French, Michèle splits her time between London and the Mayenne, France. She is Emeritus Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

Leila Segal                       Leila is a south London based writer who appeared in the Readers’ Afternoon session at the 2016 Clapham Book Festival talking about her first collection of short stories entitled Breathe; Stories from Cuba.



Rick Stroud                 Historian and author, his critically acclaimed books include Kidnap in Crete; The True Story of the Abduction of a Nazi General and The Phantom Army of Alamein; The Men who Hood-winked Rommel. “A wonderful book: charming, fascinating, crammed full of extraordinary nuggets of information … The result is a gem of a book and a classic of its kind.” Literary Review. His latest book Lonely Courage tells the story of the SOE heroines in occupied France.

John Taylor*          John  is a Clapham-based novelist and co-founder of the Clapham Book festival. He appeared in Readers Afternoon at the Festival 2016. His novel Departing Vienna is set in contemporary London and war-time Europe and he has also written military history.


Jane Thynne                Novelist, journalist and frequent broadcaster on BBC Radio 4, Jane Thynne’s Clara Vine series – including the latest Solitaire – about a  British spy in Nazi Germany is highly praised.  “Absorbing fiction, the sort you might happily read on a beach…it’s pacey well put-together reading….Those who like a good serving of history with their novels will be deeply satisfied. Thynne has a journalist’s magpie eye for interesting asides and the fruits of her research pack each page.” The Times.

kate_1_highresProfessor Kate Williams        combines an incisive grasp of historical research with a fine talent as a storyteller. Fascinated by powerful women, her biographies have featured Josephine Bonaparte, Emma Hamilton and Queen Victoria, as well as the rivalry between Mary Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I portrayed in Rival Queens. She also writes historical fiction in her three-part historical saga about the glamorous but doomed de Witt family. Kate is the social historian on BBC2’s Restoration Home, the royal and historical expert for CNN and appears regularly on TV and radio. She has also covered all the major royal events.

*Denotes Clapham writers or writers based in Clapham.

Ursula Buchan is photographed by Charlie Hodgkinson, 2016