Yasmine Seale is a translator from Arabic and French, and her essays on books and art have appeared in Harper’s, The Nation, the TLS, Apollo, frieze and elsewhere. Her translation of Aladdin came out from W. W. Norton in 2018. She is currently working on a new translation of the Thousand and One Nights for the same publisher. She lives in Istanbul.
Nimco Ali was born in Somalia and grew up in the UK, where she studied at Bristol University and went on to work as a civil servant and an independent training consultant. She is the co-founder, with psychotherapist Leyla Hussein, of Daughters of Eve, a non-profit organisation set up in 2010 to support and protect young women from communities that practise female genital mutilation (FGM). FGM is a set of procedures that involve partial or total removal of external female genitalia, including the clitoris and labia, and sometimes also infibulation – narrowing of the vaginal opening by creating a seal by sewing up the labia. It is carried out before puberty, and often on girls very much younger. FGM, which can prove fatal and often leads to medical complications, has been illegal in the UK since 1985, but was formerly considered a mainly cultural issue. Nimco Ali and Daughters of Eve have successfully campaigned for it to be recognised as child abuse.
Currently she is an ambassador for #MAKERSUK. MAKERS is AOL’s women’s leadership platform that highlights the stories of ground-breaking women today to create the leaders of tomorrow. In 2014, she was awarded Red Magazine’s Woman of the Year award, and also placed at No 6 on the Woman’s Hour Power List. Most recently she was named by The Sunday Times as one of Debrett’s 500 most influential people in Britain, and as one of the Evening Standard’s 1000 most powerful. Nimco is a trustee for Women for Refugee Women and the Emma Humphreys Memorial Prize and is a founding member of the Women’s Equality Party.
Candice Carty-Williams is an author, book marketer and sometime journalist based in south London. Born in 1989, the result of an affair between a Jamaican cab driver and a Jamaican-Indian dyslexic receptionist, Candice worked in the media before moving into publishing aged 23. In 2016, Candice created and launched the Guardian and 4th Estate BAME Short Story Prize, before moving to Vintage Books.
Her debut novel, Queenie, has stormed bestseller lists and been called a politicised Bridget Jones. We look forward to welcoming her to Curious in August.
Born in London and raised in Vancouver, Tom Rachman was a foreign correspondent for the Associated Press stationed in Rome, then an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. He is the author of three novels, the international bestseller The Imperfectionists; The Rise and Fall of Great Powers and The Italian Teacher, as well as a short stories collection, Basket of Deplorables. He lives in London.
Guy Kennaway lives for pleasure, producing books only when all else has failed. In all of Kennaway’s work he likes to study oppressed minorities under severe pressure and then make fun of them. He is best known for One People about a Jamaican village threatened by mass US tourism, and Bird Brain about a community of optimistic pheasants. His latest book is Time To Go, a comedy about killing his mother. He has written for magazines and newspapers, as well as many film scripts and TV adaptations, none of which have been made. Not surprisingly he lives alone.
Jess Kidd was brought up in London as part of a large family from County Mayo. Her first novel, Himself, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards in 2016 and she was the winner of the Costa Short Story Award in the same year. In 2017, Himself was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award and longlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger. Her second novel, The Hoarder, was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award in association with Listowel Writers’ Week’. Both books were BBC Radio 2 Book Club picks.
Natalie Haynes is a writer and broadcaster. Her first novel, The Amber Fury, was published to great acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic, as was The Ancient Guide to Modern Life, her previous book. Her second novel, The Children of Jocasta, was published in 2017. Her retelling of the Trojan War, A Thousand Ships, will be published in May 2019.
She has spoken on the modern relevance of the classical world on three continents, from Cambridge to Chicago to Auckland. She writes for the Guardian. She is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4: reviewing for Front Row and Saturday Review, appearing as a team captain on three seasons of Wordaholics, and banging on about Juvenal whenever she gets the chance.
Four series of her show, Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics, is broadcast on Radio 4. Her documentary on the Defining Beauty exhibition at the British Museum, Secret Knowledge: The Body Beautiful aired in 2015 on BBC4 in the UK and on BBC World News everywhere else. She was a judge for the 2012 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2013 Man Booker Prize, and the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
Max Porter’s first novel, Grief Is the Thing with Feathers won the Sunday Times/Peter, Fraser + Dunlop Young Writer of the Year, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Europese Literatuurprijs and the BAMB Readers’ Award and was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Goldsmiths Prize. It has been sold in twenty-nine territories. Complicité and Wayward’s production of Grief Is the Thing with Feathers directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy opened in Dublin in March 2018.
David Keenan grew up in Airdrie in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is the author of England’s Hidden Reverse and a senior critic at The Wire. His debut novel, This Is Memorial Device, was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn and Collyer Bristow Prizes, and was a Book of the Month for Waterstones, Rough Trade and Caught by the River.