Diana Evans biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Diana Evans
Photo by Charles Hopkinson

Diana Evans

Diana Evans Biography

Diana Evans was born in London and spent part of her childhood in Lagos, Nigeria. She studied Media Studies at the University of Sussex and was a dancer in the Brighton-based troupe Mashango before becoming a journalist and author. She has written features and criticism for Marie Claire, the Independent, the Observer, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Source, Time Out, the Stage and Harper’s Bazaar, and her interviews have included Lauryn Hill, Maya Angelou and Mariah Carey. She holds a Masters degree in creative writing from the University of East Anglia.

Evans’s first novel, 26a, received a Betty Trask award, a nomination for the Guardian First Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel and Commonwealth Best First Book awards. It was the inaugural winner of the Orange Award for New Writers and has been translated into twelve languages. Her second novel, The Wonder, is also published by Chatto & Windus.

Diana Evans's website

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Interview

Diana Evans discusses her first novel, 26a, set partly in the UK and partly in Nigeria, which explores our individual search for identity.

Q: To what degree is 26a an autobiographical novel?
A: It was inspired by a personal bereavement so in that sense it is autobiographical; and I did draw from memories and sensations from my own childhood. But I would be uncomfortable calling it a portrait or a blueprint of my life. When you are using autobiographical material in fiction, it is absolutely necessary that you distance yourself enough from the subject so that it becomes something of its own, nothing to do with you, so that the imagination can take flight and all kinds of unexpected twists and turns of plot and character come into play. This is what happened with 26a.

Q: 26a shares some qualities with magical realist fiction. Have you been influenced by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Salman Rushdie, Isabel Allende, and other magical realist writers? Or does this quality flow into your work more from African folk-tales?
A: I would not attribute either source to the 'magic realist' aspects of the novel. It's simply the way I write. I love the supernatural, and I am enthralled by writing that dares to venture into the impossible or fantastic. It's great fun and takes the writer and the reader into another world, which is what fiction should do. ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Diana Evans at BookBrowse
26a jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Diana Evans but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

    Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie was born in Nigeria in 1977. She is from Abba, in Anambra State, but grew up in the university town of Nsukka where she attended primary and secondary schools and briefly studied Medicine and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    26a

    Try:
    Half of a Yellow Sun
    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

  • Monica Ali

    Monica Ali

    Monica Ali is the daughter of English and Bangladeshi parents.

    She came to England at the age of three, and her first home was Bolton in Greater Manchester. Ali later studied at Oxford University.

    Her first novel, Brick ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    26a

    Try:
    In the Kitchen
    by Monica Ali

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