Kate Pullinger writes for both print and digital platforms. Her latest novel Landing Gear was published in 2014. Also in 2014, Pullinger collaborated with novelist and theatre-maker Neil Bartlett to create the digital war memorial, Letter to an Unknown Soldier. New projects include a new novel, to be published in 2017, and a novel for smartphones, Jellybone.
Pullinger gives talks and readings frequently. She is Professor of Creative Writing and Digital Media at Bath Spa University.
She was born in Cranbrook, British Columbia, and went to high school on Vancouver Island. She dropped out of McGill University, Montreal, after a year and a half of not studying philosophy and literature, then spent a year working in a copper mine in the Yukon, northern Canada, where she crushed rocks and saved money. She spent that money traveling and ended up in London, England, where she has been ever since. She is married and has two children.
Kate Pullinger's website
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A Conversation with Kate Pullinger, author of The Mistress of Nothing
This Q&A contains plot spoilers
In your Author's Note, you mention that this story is inspired by real people and events. How far does the novel deviate from actual happenings? Where did you choose to embellish or change things to suit your authorial needs?
I was inspired to write the story of Sally Naldrett after reading Katherine Frank's wonderful biography, Lucie Duff Gordon. The episode with Sally is a tiny part of Lucie's eventful and fascinating life. But Sally struck me as a strong character herself and I knew right away that I wanted to try to tell her side of the story. The novel sticks very close to the established facts up to the moment that Sally leaves Lucie's household; for instance, she really did give birth on the Nile on Christmas Eve, she and Omar did marry subsequently, despite Lucie's objections. However, no further records remain of Sally, apart from the fact that she did return once to ask Lucie for money. So from that point onward I was free to imagine Sally's life; since there is no record of her death in England, I felt I could assume that she stayed in Egypt. And that led me into imagining ...
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