Sarah Waters OBE

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Sarah Waters OBE is an award-winning author, who was awarded an honorary fellowship from Goldsmiths in 2016.

The Welsh writer was born in 1966 and studied for a BA in English Literature from the University of Kent, and an MA from the University of Lancaster.

Waters completed her PhD at Queen Mary, University of London, with her thesis, Wolfskins and togas : lesbian and gay historical fictions, 1870 to the present, inspiring and providing material for future books set in the Victorian, Edwardian, and World War Two eras.

A number of her novels have won or been shortlisted for multiple high-profile prizes. The highly-acclaimed Tipping the Velvet (1998) was written in the 18 months after Waters completed her PhD, and went on to win the Betty Trask Award. 

Affinity (1999) won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday / John Llewellyn Rhys Prize; Fingersmith (2002) was short-listed for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize and won the South Bank Show Award for Literature and the CWA Historical Dagger; The Night Watch (2006) reached the shortlist for the Orange Prize and the Man Booker Prize; The Little Stranger (2009) was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the South Bank Show Literature Award.

Sarah Waters has been named Author of the Year four times: by the British Book Awards, the Booksellers’ Association, Waterstone’s Booksellers and the Stonewall Awards. She was awarded an OBE in 2019.

Her novels Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, Fingersmith and The Night Watch have been adapted for television and a number of her books have been adapted for stage productions, including The Night Watch in 2016.