Laura Barnett is a bestselling author interested in the way fiction can take the world we know, and our own familiar, everyday lives, and render them rich and strange. Her first novel, The Versions of Us (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2015), tells three versions of the story of one couple’s relationship across sixty years; it was a number-one bestseller, has been translated into twenty-four languages, and optioned for television by Trademark Films.
With her second novel, Greatest Hits (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2017), Laura Barnett took fiction into new, unexplored territory, inventing the life story of a British female singer-songwriter and, in a world first, collaborating with musician Kathryn Williams to create a musical soundtrack that was released alongside the novel.
Laura Barnett is a lecturer in fiction at Manchester Metropolitan University, and teaches creative writing for the Curtis Brown creative writing programme and the Arvon Foundation. Appalled by the recent statistics showing the limited access to writing and publishing for people from diverse backgrounds, she has worked as a mentor for the charity Arts Emergency and the writers’ development agency Spread the Word. In 2017, she gave a TedX talk on originality in fiction.
Before publishing The Versions of Us, Laura Barnett was an arts journalist and theatre critic, contributing regularly to the Guardian, the Observer, the Daily Telegraph and Time Out London. Her nonfiction book, Advice from the Players, is published by Nick Hern Books. She lives with her husband, son and cat in Crystal Palace, south-east London, and is currently working on her third novel.