Fellow at Anglia Ruskin University, 2005-07
Francis Spufford was born in 1964, and has been working full-time as a writer since 1990. As well as editing two highly-praised literary anthologies, he is the author of three books. I May Be Some Time (1995) was a cultural history of the British obsession with polar exploring, The Child That Books Built (2002) was a memoir of a childhood as a compulsive reader, and Backroom Boys (2003) was a portrait of the de-industrialisation as seen through the experience of engineers. At present he is writing about Russia in the 1950s and 1960s, and the economists who tried to make good on Khrushchev's impossible promise that Soviet citizens would shortly be richer than Americans. He sees non-fiction as a literature which is as rich and important as the novel, and as open to ambitious thinking. As well as reviewing books, he broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. He has won prizes including the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year prize, and the Writers' Guild Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of the Year. In 2004 he was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. He lives in Cambridge.