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Marina Warner

Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London and a Professorial Research Fellow, SOAS, 2014-2017.

Marina Warner’s mother was Italian and her father an English bookseller; she was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and Cambridge, England. She has been a writer since she was young, specialising in mythology and fairy-tales, with an emphasis on the part women play in them. Her award-winning books include Alone of All Her Sex: The Myth and the Cult of the Virgin Mary (l976), Joan of Arc: The Image of Female Heroism (l982), From the Beast to the Blonde : On Fairy Tales and Their Tellers (1994) and No Go the Bogeyman (1998). In l994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of Six Myths of Our Time. Her books include Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media (2006), and Stranger Magic:Charmed States and The Arabian Nights (2011). She also writes fiction: The Lost Father (l988), was short listed for the Booker prize, and in 2000, The Leto Bundle (2000) was long-listed.  She has curated exhibitions, including The Inner Eye (l996), Metamorphing (2002-3), and Only Make-Believe: Ways of Playing (2005). She chaired the Man Booker International Prize for 2015, and from 2013-15 she was a Two Year Fellow at All Souls College, Oxford.

Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (OUP, 2014) will be coming out in paperback later this year.  A collection of short stories Fly Away Home was published by Salt in autumn 2015. She is currently working on the theme of Sanctuary and culture in times of dislocation and diaspora, and is   writing a memoir-cum-novel set in Cairo in the Fifties.

She is a Fellow of the British Academy, and of the Royal Society of Literature. She was made DBE in 2015, and the same year was awarded the Holberg Prize in the Arts and Humanities.