Fiona Mozley grew up in York and lives in Edinburgh. The setting for her debut novel - Elmet - came to her on a train journey after visiting her parents in Yorkshire.
Mozley was 29 years old and working part-time in a bookshop when she started Elmet, her tale of family, land and conflict, typing it into her phone while commuting.
The story was influenced by her studies for a PhD in late medieval urban decay and eco politics – Elmet was a Celtic kingdom that once covered Yorkshire. Into a narrative of a father and his two young children living isolated and outside normal social mores are woven themes of sexuality, violence and acquisitiveness. Although set in contemporary times part of the appeal of the novel is its rootedness in earlier centuries.
Elmet won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari Prize. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize, and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dublin Literary Award and the International Dylan Thomas Prize.