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Royal Holloway writers named as the next big thing

Posted on 16/04/2013

Ben Markovits

Three writers from Royal Holloway’s English Department have been named in Granta magazine’s list of Britain's 20 best young novelists.

Ben Markovits, a Senior Lecturer in the Department of English, and alumni Tahmima Anam and Jenni Fagan were named among the country's brightest talents under 40-years-old, in an announcement at the British Council last night.

With the literary magazine only publishing its influential list once every decade, it inevitably brings its chosen authors into the spotlight. Indeed, Granta’s list has previously featured many writers who have gone on to become household names, such as Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Martin Amis.

Dr Anne Varty, Head of the Department of English at Royal Holloway, said: “The Creative Writing MA at Royal Holloway is a major centre for new talent on a world stage. This extraordinary success of our writers is an inspiring confirmation of prestige, and we are delighted to toast their achievements.”

Ben has published six novels, including a trilogy on the life of Lord Byron. He was awarded a fellowship to the Radcliffe Institute of Advanced Studies in 2009, and won a Pushcart Prize for his short story Another, Sad, Bizarre Chapter in Human History.

He said: “I'm very pleased to be on the list and grateful to Granta for including me. It's great to see two talented Royal Holloway alumni on the list too. The business side of writing is changing rapidly at the moment, and Granta do a very good job of attracting attention to literary fiction.”

Tahmima and Jenni are both graduates of Royal Holloway’s MA in Creative Writing. Tahmima won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Book with her debut novel A Golden Age and is the author of the Bengal Trilogy. Jenni is not only an author and poet but also works as a writer-in-residence in prisons and hospitals. She is the author of The Panopticon and her poetry collection The Dead Queen of Bohemia was named 3:AM magazine's Poetry Book of the Year.

Also named in the Granta list is Adam Foulds, who will visit Royal Holloway on Thursday 9 May to read from his novel The Quickening Maze. The Lunchtime Readings event, at 1pm in the Students' Union Main Hall, is open to all students, staff and members of the public and is free to attend.



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