Elizabeth Bowen was an Irish-British writer whose fiction, including her ghost stories, demonstrate her interest in ‘life with the lid on and what happens when the lid comes off’.

Bowen was one of the great writers about the Irish ascendancy and about wartime Britain, both topics - by birth and experience (with the Ministry of Information) - she knew much about. Although she made her name as a novelist in the 1930s, Bowen was shortlisted for the Booker prize 40 years later in 1970 with Eva Trout, and in 1977 was the subject of a biography by Victoria Glendinning (chair of the 1992 Booker Prize judges). She was a woman with a wide circle of literary friends, who included Virginia Woolf, John Buchan, Carson McCullers and Iris Murdoch.

Elizabeth Bowen

All nominated books

Eva Trout