Catherine O'Flynn biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by Catherine O'Flynn.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

Catherine O'Flynn

Catherine O'Flynn

Catherine O'Flynn Biography

Catherine O'Flynn grew up in Birmingham, England and has had various jobs: teacher, secret shopper, web editor, and now novelist. What Was Lost draws on her experiences of working at record stores. She spent some time in Barcelona, Spain before moving back to Birmingham, where she currently lives and works. Her first novel was met with incredible critical acclaim. The novel was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and the Orange Prize for Fiction, shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and won the First Novel Prize at the Costa Book Awards. In 2008, she was named the Newcomer of the Year at the Galaxy British Book Awards. Her second novel, The News Where You Are, was released in 2010.

Link to Catherine's website

This biography was last updated on 08/21/2011.

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Interview

I started writing What Was Lost without really intending to do so. I was working long hours in a large out-of-town shopping center as a manager in a music store. I found the center a very strange and extreme environment for many reasons: the trancelike state of the shoppers consuming everything in their wake; the eeriness of the empty center at night; the constant awareness of surveillance; the day-to-day mix of desperation and humor in our dealings with customers; the industrial past buried beneath us (like many U.K. shopping centers it had been built on former industrial land). I started writing notes about it just for myself—to remind me of how hideous it was for some future point when hopefully I would no longer be working there. It was never my intention to write a novel at that stage—I would have considered the idea ridiculous. So these notes were just descriptive: bizarre exchanges with customers, staff-room scenes, the service corridors.

Then one day the security guard I worked with told me a story he’d heard about a child being seen on the security monitors in the middle of the night. Subsequently I found out that the story is almost certainly a myth—a classic security shaggy-dog story—but I&...

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Books by this Author

Books by Catherine O'Flynn at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

What Was Lost
What Was Lost

by Catherine O'Flynn

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl - winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Catherine O'Flynn 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

  • 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:
    What Was Lost

    Try:
    Brick Lane
    by Monica Ali

  • Jonathan Coe

    Jonathan Coe

    Jonathan Coe was born on 19 August 1961 in Lickey, a suburb of south-west Birmingham. His father worked in the motor industry as a research physicist; his mother was a music and PE teacher. He has published nine novels, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    What Was Lost

    Try:
    The Rotter's Club
    by Jonathan Coe

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