Catherine O'Flynn, the youngest of six children, was born in Birmingham in 1970 to Irish parents. Her father was a newsagent, her mother a teacher.
Prior to the publication of her first novel she did a variety of jobs including web editor, box office assistant, deputy manager of a large record shop, civil servant, post woman, teacher and mystery shopper.
Her debut novel, What Was Lost, won the Costa First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, and longlisted for the Booker and Orange Prizes. She was named Waterstone's Newcomer of the Year at the 2008 Galaxy British Book Awards.
Her second novel The News Where You Are, published in 2010, was shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, an Edgar Allen Poe Award and was a Channel 4 TV Book Club choice.
Her third novel Mr Lynch's Holiday was published in 2013.
Her short stories and articles have featured in Granta, The Independent, The Observer and on Radio 3 and 4.
She lives in Birmingham with her husband and two daughters.
Catherine O'Flynn's website
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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 myselfto 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 stageI 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 hed 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 mytha classic security shaggy-dog storybut I&...
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