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Julia Hollander

Non-fiction writer, Playwright

About

Julia Hollander writes nonfiction that originates in the lived experience, interweaving personal narratives with cutting-edge research. Her first book, Indian Folk Theatres (Routledge, 2009), derived from over a decade working in India as a stage director and performer. She went on to write two memoirs about family life, When the Bough Breaks (John Murray, 2010), and Chicken Coops for the Soul (Guardian Books, 2011). More recently, she returned to her performing arts roots with Why We Sing (Atlantic, 2023) an exploration of the way in which singing benefits everyday wellbeing.

Julia’s first career in theatre took her all over the world. She founded the contemporary music theatre company, Operate, and in 1991 was the first-ever woman to direct opera productions for English National Opera at the London Coliseum. As a director she published numerous book and stage reviews and translations of libretti. Her plays for BBC radio include a dramatisation of When the Bough Breaks and a drama about climate activism, The Kingsnorth Six (2012), as well as an autobiographical documentary, The Letter (2019). She has held writing and research fellowships with the Winston Churchill, Judith E. Wilson and Rajiv Gandhi Foundations, and has been writer-in-residence at Campsfield House immigration removal centre.

Running alongside her creative life, and closely allied to it, Julia has always worked freelance as a teacher and mentor, as well as bringing up her two daughters, Ellie and Bea. They are now both embarking on careers in the arts.

Julia Hollander

Julia Hollander

Non-fiction writer, Playwright

Current Fellowship

University of Oxford, Medieval and Modern Languages, 2023–2024

Email

[email protected]