Paul Sayer



Paul Sayer is a former psychiatric nurse whose first novel The Comforts of Madness was published in 1988, winning the Constable trophy and that year’s Whitbread first novel and book of the year awards. A further six novels have appeared since then, including The Absolution Game (1993), longlisted for the Booker prize, and the independently produced Like So Totally (2010). There have also been a number of translations of his books, including Jumala Laps (The God Child: Estonia), and In De Luwte Van de Waanzin (The Comforts of Madness: Holland).

He has also represented England on a panel of next-generation writers at a Pen world congress in Canada, tutored for the Arvon Foundation, and contributed reviews and occasional features for the Sunday Times, the Times, the Independent, the Literary Review, Time Out, Nursing Standard, Nursing Times and others. Other acknowledgements of his work include a Society of Authors travel award and a Wingate Foundation scholarship.

He retains an interest in the science of psychiatry and the practise of contemporary care, such as it is, and he has a keen concern for the subject of renal research and development. His other interests include walking on windswept Yorkshire beaches, staring aimlessly out of windows for vast lengths of time, and an unfathomable affinity for York City FC. Paul lives near York with his wife Anne, also a psychiatric nurse. They have a grown-up, married son.

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Paul Sayer



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  • University of York, 2014–2019
  • University of Leeds, Environment, 2008–2010