Photo by Robert Heath
Frances Liardet studied Arabic at Oxford and then went to Cairo to translate modern Egyptian novelists including Naguib Mahfouz and Edwar al-Kharrat. Her first novel, The Game, came out in Picador and won a Betty Trask award. For her PhD she did an apprenticeship in ancient Greek hot-glass working, making a huge number of stripy glass vessels which she will bring down from her attic and show you at the slightest provocation. She’s currently a support worker for the stillbirth and neonatal death charity SANDS, and she’s also what people insist on calling an ‘older mother,’ a situation which continues to delight and amaze her.