Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, to an Anglo-Moroccan librarian mother and a Danish violin-maker father. She studied English at Somerville College, Oxford and worked first as a journalist in Hongkong and Taiwan. She then worked as a TV and radio producer for the BBC in the UK.
In 1987 she moved to France where she worked as a sculptor and freelance journalist, and she began writing her first novel, Egg Dancing. This was published in 1995, after her return to London, where she wrote Ark Baby (1998), The Paper Eater(2000), War Crimes for the Home (2002), The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (2004), My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006) and The Rapture (2009). She is currently working on her eighth novel, a ghost story.
Jensen's work has been short-listed for the Guardian Fiction award, nominated three times for the Orange Prize, developed for film, and translated into more than 20 languages. She has two sons and shares her life with the Danish writer Carsten Jensen, best-selling author of We, The Drowned. She divides her time between London and Copenhagen.
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A Family Timebomb by Joel Rickett
How did Louis Drax, a deeply disturbed, accident-prone nine-year-old, plunge
from a cliff at a family picnic? And why did he start to breathe again in a
French hospital morgue, hours after drowning? These are the mysteries at the
core of a taut psychological thriller by Liz Jensen, The Ninth Life of Louis
The book is a departure for Jensen, whose four previous novels Egg Dancing, Ark Baby, The Paper Eater and War Crimes for the Home could be loosely described as black comedies. 'This is my first grown-up book,' is how she describes it. 'But there is some humour in Louis, of a very dark kind.'
The novel opens with Louis's controlling voice: 'I'm not most kids. I'm Louis Drax. Stuff happens to me that shouldn't happen, like going on a picnic where you drown.' Precocious yet naive, he creates freakish stories and imaginary companions, and takes delight in tormenting his therapist.
'When I started writing Louis, I wanted him to be almost demonic, and for there to be a grain of doubt over whether he might be exercising a kind of supernatural power,' Jensen says. 'But he's not scary at all when you get to know ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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