Michael Bywater

Non-fiction writer


Michael Bywater is a columnist, critic and essayist and the author of The Chronicles of Bargepole, Lost Worlds (which was read by Stephen Fry as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week) and Big Babies. He writes regularly for the Independent, and is a columnist for the Week.

He originally went up to Cambridge to read medicine but became, and remained, sidetracked, completing his BA in English and continuing with postgraduate work in Theatre Performance Studies at Cardiff before moving into journalism. He was a staff editor at Punch magazine for more than 10 years, and has written for a wide range of newspapers and magazines from the Observer to Cosmopolitan. He wrote two-and-a-half computer games with the late Douglas Adams and retains an interest in electronic narratives. He is also a regular broadcaster.

Michael has taught tragedy at Cambridge and structured investigation to, among others, oil engineers in Syria. He has had residencies at Magdalene and King’s College, Cambridge. He is currently completing a musical on the life of Oscar Wilde with the celebrated American songwriter Mike Stoller. He is also a harpsichordist, organist and pilot.

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Michael Bywater

Non-fiction writer


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  • University of Warwick, 2012–2014