Joseph O’Neill is a double Booker longlistee (2008 and 2014) who read law at university rather than English because ‘literature was too precious’ to demystify it by too much academic analysis.

O’Neill is bewilderingly multicultural: he was born in Ireland and is half-Irish, half-Turkish; he grew up in Mozambique, Turkey and Iran; he was educated in the Netherlands and at Cambridge; before working as a barrister in London and then moving to New York. His Booker Prize novels contain aspects of his life: O’Neill is the Staten Island Cricket Club’s most famous player (the club features in his post-9/11 novel Netherland) while The Dog centres on a New York lawyer during the financial crisis. “It’s not my fault if every time I sit down to write something big happens!” says the author.

Joseph O'Neil

All nominated books

The Dog
Netherland