Wyl Menmuir’s celebrity as a Booker Prize nominee was cemented when, while swimming near Falmouth in Cornwall, a crow stole his wallet from his unattended trousers and left it in a tree.

The incident made the local news, not least because Menmuir emerged from the water wearing his snorkelling fins and so couldn’t give (comedy) chase. He retrieved his wallet after climbing the tree but ‘My library card, my National Trust card and a £20 note were beyond rescuing.’ The incident does not feature in his first work of non-fiction, The Draw of the Sea, about the allure of water. Menmuir is also a creative writing teacher who counsels his students ‘to finish what you’ve started… There are so many novels out there, just sitting in drawers, half finished.’

Wyl Menmuir

All nominated books

The Many