D.J. Taylor was born in Norwich in 1960. He was educated at Norwich School and then studied Modern History at St John’s College, Oxford. Before becoming a full-time writer he worked miserably in the City of London as a corporate copywriter. He has written a dozen novels, including English Settlement (1996), which won a Grinzane Cavour Award, Trespass (1998) and Derby Day (2011), both long-listed for the Booker Prize, Kept (2006), a Publishers Weekly Book of the Year, The Windsor Faction (2013), joint winner of the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, and, most recently, Rock and Roll is Life: The True Story of the Helium Kids by One Who Was There (2018). His short stories, many of which have been broadcast on Radio Four, are collected in After Bathing at Baxter’s (1997) and Wrote for Luck (2015).
David’s non-fiction includes Thackeray (1999), Orwell: The Life, which won the 2003 Whitbread Biography Prize, Bright Young People: The Rise and Fall of a Generation 1918-1940 (2007), The Prose Factory: Literary Life in England Since 1918 (2016) and, most recently, Lost Girls: Love, War and Literature 1939-1951 (2019). He is currently working on a second biography of Orwell, for publication in 2023 and critical editions of Orwell’s six novels.
A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Trustee of The Orwell Foundation and the Orwell Archive at University College, London, David was formerly Visiting Professor in English and Creative Writing at the University of Coleraine. His journalism appears in a variety of publications on both sides of the Atlantic, including the Times Literary Supplement, the Wall Street Journal, the New Criterion, the Critic, the Guardian and (anonymously) in Private Eye. He is married to the novelist Rachel Hore: they have three sons. He spends his spare time reading and following Norwich City FC.