Christina Koning

Novelist, Short-story writer

Christina Koning is a novelist and short-story writer. She has worked as a travel writer and book reviewer for the Times and other national newspapers and has taught creative writing at the University of Oxford and Birkbeck, University of London. Her first novel A Mild Suicide, set in Edinburgh in 1977, was published in 1992 and shortlisted for the David Higham prize for fiction.

Undiscovered Country (1997) won the Encore award for the best second novel and was longlisted for the Orange prize for fiction. Set in 1950s Venezuela, the novel explored aspects of colonialism — a theme dealt with elsewhere in Koning’s fiction, notably in Fabulous Time (2001), which is partly set in China during the 1911 revolution and was awarded a Society of Authors’ travelling scholarship, and The Dark Tower (2010), set in South Africa during the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879. More recent novels include Variable Stars (2011), about the 18th-century astronomer Caroline Herschel, and Line of Sight (2014), the first of a series of detective stories set during the late 1920s.

Koning has appeared as a critic on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour, and has had stories broadcast on BBC Radio 4. A collection of short stories appeared in 2013. She has two grown-up children, who are both musicians, and lives in Cambridge, where she enjoys walking, cycling and going to concerts and the theatre. Another passion is travel — one reason why so many of her books are set outside the UK.

Christina Koning

Fellowships

Newnham College, University of Cambridge 2013-15
University of Chichester 2012/13