Louise Dean, longlisted for her first novel, Becoming Strangers, once memorably likened writing to good bowel habits: 'Do it regularly, at the same time each day, and use plenty of paper.'
The Wall Street Journal found nothing functional about Dean’s own writing - four novels to date - describing her as one of the world’s top five most underrated authors. Dean now also teaches the art of fiction writing, with the stated aim of prodding her pupils to produce a novel in 90 days. Becoming Strangers, a book about a group of no-longer young people, was inspired by her grandparents who died while Dean was trapped in America by immigration paperwork. Nevertheless, she leavens her often grim subject matter with a dusting of dark humour.