Fiona Shaw

Novelist

Fiona Shaw fell into writing by way of a crisis. Finding her life hijacked by a severe post-natal breakdown after the birth of her second child, she decided to write about it in what became her first book, the fierce and eloquent memoir Out of Me (1997). After this she turned with relief to fiction. Her first novel The Sweetest Thing (2003) is set in 19th-century York and concerns itself with the chocolate wars, voyeurism, love, Quakerism and a little bit of madness. The Picture She Took (2005), set in England after the Great War and Ireland after the Black and Tan War, is a detective story, interweaving the lives of an impatient and frustrated young woman and a haunted young man.

Her third novel Tell It to the Bees (2009) is a three-hander. It tells the story of two women and their love for each other, at a time when such love was almost unimaginable; and of Charlie, a small boy who knows more than he understands. In her fourth A Stone’s Throw (2012) something is set spinning one cold, snow-struck day when a father and son set out on a journey. Sixty years and three generations later, the force of this event is spent and the novel closes.

Fiona grew up in London and now lives in York. She reads a great deal, cycles everywhere and, alongside writing novels, teaches creative writing at Northumbria University.

Fiona Shaw

Fellowships

University of Sheffield 2010-12
University of York 2007-09