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Kate Chisholm

Non-fiction writer

Kate Chisholm is the radio critic of the Spectator and the author of Fanny Burney: her life (Chatto & Windus, 1998), Hungry Hell: what it’s really like to be anorexic (Short Books, 2002) and Wits and Wives: Dr Johnson in the company of women (Chatto & Windus, 2011). She has also written essays for The Cambridge Companion to Frances Burney and The Last Bungalow: writings on Allahabad (edited by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra). ‘Best Bakery in Town’ tells the story of her family’s connection with India across several generations.

Kate began her writing life as a copyeditor with Cambridge University Press, taking the skills she learnt there into newspapers and arriving on Fleet Street just as hot-metal and manual typewriters were being replaced by computers. She has reviewed books, theatre, television and radio for a variety of newspapers, journals and magazines, from the Daily Mail to the TLS via PN Review and Harper’s & Queen. She has been vice-president of the Burney Society in the UK and is on the committee of the Johnson Society of London.

Her work with students as an RLF Fellow has led her into teaching narrative non-fiction at City University, as a short course and on the MA in creative writing. She is currently extending ‘Best Bakery’ into a book-length project that will explore the stories of those families who were caught up in the Raj but were not quite part of it. Kate lives near the river Thames in south-west London.

Kate Chisholm


University of Chichester 2012-14
University of Surrey 2007-09
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