Midge Gillies

Non-fiction writer


Midge Gillies grew up in Suffolk and studied history at Girton College, Cambridge. She has written seven non-fiction books. Amy Johnson: queen of the air (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2003) tells the story of the record-breaking pilot and Waiting for Hitler: Britain on the brink of invasion (Hodder & Stoughton, 2007) recreates the tension of the summer of 1940. Nicholas Lezard of the Guardian described her most recent book The Barbed-Wire University: the real lives of allied prisoners of war in the Second World War (Aurum, 2011) as ‘One of the best war books I have ever read.’

Midge has been a part-time tutor for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education for more than 15 years and she also teaches a biography masterclass for the Guardian/University of East Anglia. She is the author of Writing Lives: literary biography (Cambridge University Press, 2009) and co-author with Sally Cline of The Arvon Book of Literary Non-Fiction (Bloomsbury, 2012).

She has written for publications including the Guardian, Independent, Financial Times and Los Angeles Times, and has appeared on national and regional radio and television. Midge lives in Cambridgeshire with her husband, the award-winning crime writer Jim Kelly, and their daughter Rosa. Midge is currently researching a book about army wives from the Crimea to the present-day.

More from Midge Gillies

Author Midge Gillies at home in Cambridgeshire. Ordered by Rachel Vere. 140808
Image Credit: Si Barber

Midge Gillies

Non-fiction writer


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  • Magdalene College, University of Cambridge, 2012–2015