‘triumphant …  [Tenderness] places MacLeod among the best of contemporary novelists.’ —Publishers Weekly


ALISON MacLEOD’s new novel, Tenderness, is published in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and India by Bloomsbury Publishing, and in Canada by Penguin Canada.  It has been named a ‘Best Paperback of 2022’ by The Sunday Times, and, in 2021, was a ‘Book of the Year’ for the New York Times and The Spectator, a ‘Best New Book’ for PEOPLE Magazine and The Sunday Times‘ ‘Historical Fiction Book of the Month’.

MacLeod’s last novel,  Unexploded (Hamish Hamilton UK and Penguin Canada), was long-listed for the Man-Booker Prize for Fiction and The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction, named one of the Observer‘s ‘Books of the Year’, and serialised for BBC Radio 4. 

Her most recent story collection All the Beloved Ghosts (Bloomsbury UK/USA and Penguin CA), was shortlisted for Canada’s national Governor General’s Award for Fiction and named one of the Guardian‘s ‘Best Books of 2017’.  It was shortlisted for The 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize for best single-author short story collection in the UK and Ireland.  

In 2016, she was a winner of the Hay Festival-British Library Writer’s Award, an award made by the Eccles Centre of the British Library in association with the Hay Literature Festival.  




MacLeod was born in Montreal, Quebec of Nova Scotian parents, and was raised in Quebec, Michigan, and Nova Scotia.  Her large family’s roots in Nova Scotia are several generations deep, and she visits Canada twice annually.  She has lived in England since 1987, and is a citizen of both Canada and the U.K.  Brighton, England has been her adopted home since 2000.

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 stories are widely commissioned and broadcast. She was awarded the Society of Authors Award for Short Fiction and nominated for the BBC National Short Story Award and the Sunday Times EFG International Short Story Award.

She’s been a guest on the BBC programmes Open Book, Front Row, The World Tonight, Woman’s Hour, The Verb and Free Thinking.  She is an occasional contributor for media outlets such as The Sunday Times, the Guardian and the Telegraph, and has appeared at numerous literary festivals (Cheltenham, Oxford, Cambridge, Charleston UK and USA, Jaipur, Hong Kong, Toronto).

She has been a guest speaker at universities throughout the UK and abroad, and a judge of several literary prizes. She has also enjoyed work as a writer-in-residence with the British Library, Raffles Hotel (Singapore), the Banff Centre (Canada), and the Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft (UK).

Professor of Contemporary Fiction at the University of Chichester until 2018, she now contributes as Visiting Professor. She is also a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund for the Cambridge University Researcher Development Centre, and recently led the Arts Council England & National Lottery funded project ‘The Stories We Tell‘, in partnership with Arvon, the British Library and New Writing South.

(author photos: copyright © Kate MacLeod)