Gail Honeyman is a Scottish bestselling author whose debut novel, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award.
Gail was born and raised in Stirling, Scotland. Her mother was as a civil servant and her father a scientist. Gail was an avid reader in her childhood, visiting the library “a ridiculous number of times a week” due to her passion for books.
She studied French language and literature at the Glasgow University and continued her education at the University of Oxford, starting a postgraduate course in French poetry. However, Gail realised that an academic career was not for her and she started a string of “backroom jobs”. She worked at first as a civil servant in economic development and then as an administrator at Glasgow University.
While working at Glasgow University, Gail enrolled in a Faber Academy writing course, writing the first three chapters of what would become Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. Cambridge’s Lucy Cavendish College was running a competition for unpublished fiction by female writers and it was just what she was looking for to fulfill her lifelong passion for reading, so she submitted her work and the rest is history. The novel was published in 2017 and earned numerous awards, sold millions of copies, and received wide critical acclaim.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine won the 2017 Costa First Novel Award. When asked how much of Eleanor Oliphant was based on her own life, Gail has said “Eleanor Oliphant isn’t me, or anyone I know – but of course I’ve felt loneliness – everybody does”. In 2018 Gail revealed that she was working on a new novel which will be “set in a different period and location”.
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