About

Alison MacLeod is a novelist and short story writer.  Her second story collection, all the beloved ghosts, was published this year by Bloomsbury UK, Bloomsbury USA and Penguin Canada.   She has written three novels to date.  The most recent,  Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin Canada), was long-listed for the 2013 Man-Booker Prize for Fiction and was one of the Observer‘s ‘Books of the Year’.  It was serialised for BBC Radio 4’s ‘Book at Bedtime’ (Sweet Talk Productions) and has been optioned for film.   Her next novel will be published by Bloomsbury UK and USA.

MacLeod was born in Montreal, Canada and  was raised both in Montreal and in Halifax, Nova Scotia, where her family has deep roots.  She also spent a period of her childhood in the States.  MacLeod has lived in England since 1987 and is a citizen of both Canada and the U.K.  Brighton, England is her adopted home, and she spends time with family in Halifax and Quebec twice each year.

Her earlier work includes the novels The Changeling (1996) and The Wave Theory of Angels (2005), and the short story collection, Fifteen Modern Tales of Attraction (2007). Her short fiction has been awarded The Society of Authors’ Olive Cook Award and nominated for The BBC National Short Story Award and The Sunday Times EFG International Short Story Award. Her stories are often broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and 4.

In 2016, she and William Atkins were jointly awarded The Eccles British Library Writer’s Award.  The award is made possible by the generosity of the Eccles Centre at the British Library.  The Centre promotes awareness of the North American and Caribbean collection at the British Library, the largest collection outside the U.S. 

Alongside her writing, MacLeod has served as a judge for The Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, The Mslexia Prize for Fiction, The International Manchester Fiction Prize, The London Magazine Short Story Prize, and The Charleston-Chichester Award.  She is Associate Editor of Short Fiction in Theory and Practice (Intellect Books) and has been a guest on the BBC programmes Open Book, Front Row, Free ThinkingThe Verb and Woman’s Hour.  

She has appeared at numerous literary festivals, including The Charleston International Festival, The Sunday Times Oxford Festival,  The Cambridge Literary Festival, The International Small Wonder Short Story Festival, The Cork International Short Story Festival, The Jaipur Literature Festival and The Hong Kong International Literary Festival.  She has been an occasional contributor to The Sunday Times, the Guardian, Prospect and The Ottawa Citizen, and has undertaken writing residencies with The Banff Centre (Canada), Raffles Hotel (Singapore), and the British Library.  She is currently a writer-in-residence at The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft (East Sussex, UK).

MacLeod is Professor of Contemporary Fiction (on a part-time basis) at the University of Chichester, UK.   She also teaches and mentors for groups such as the Arvon Foundation and New Writing South.

For news of her upcoming readings and events, click on the ‘News’ tab above.

 author image (2015) © Kate MacLeod Photography