Diran Adebayo

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Diran Adebayo
Born Oludiran Adebayo
(1968-08-30) 30 August 1968 (age 46)
Islington, London, England, UK
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Ethnicity Nigerian
Education Malvern College
Alma mater University of Oxford

Diran Adebayo (born 30 August 1968) is a British novelist, cultural critic and broadcaster best known for his vivid portrayals of modern London life and his distinctive use of language.

Education and career[edit]

Born Oludiran Adebayo in London in 1968, to Nigerian parents,[1] Adebayo won a major scholarship to Malvern College where he boarded as an adolescent,[2] and is an Oxford University Law graduate.[1][3]

His debut novel, Some Kind of Black, was one of the first to articulate a British-born African perspective, and it won him numerous awards, including the Writers' Guild of Great Britain's New Writer of the Year Award, the Author's Club First Novel Award, the 1996 Saga Prize, and a Betty Trask Award.[4] It was also longlisted for the Booker Prize, serialised on British radio and is now a Virago Modern Classic. His follow-up, the neo-noir fable My Once Upon A Time, which he has described as a "latter-day Pilgrim's Progress", fused film noir and fairytale with Yoruba myth to striking effect, and solidified his reputation as a groundbreaker. In 2004 he co-edited New Writing 12, the British Council's annual anthology of British and Commonwealth literature, with Blake Morrison and Jane Rogers. In 2009, Adebayo donated the short story "Calculus" to Oxfam's "Ox-Tales" project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. His story was published in the "Air" collection.[5]

Adebayo worked as Senior News Reporter at The Voice newspaper and as a reporter on BBC Television before his manuscript for Some Kind of Black won the Saga Prize. He was formerly a columnist for New Nation newspaper, and is a regular presence in the British press, writing for newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent and New Statesman magazine. In 2005, he wrote the documentary, Out of Africa for BBC Television and in 2003, The Evening Standard named him one of London's 100 most influential people.

He is currently one of the writers-in-residence of the charity First Story.

Adebayo is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a member of the National Council of Arts Council England. He lives in London and is the younger brother of the writer, journalist, publisher and broadcaster Dotun Adebayo.


  • Some Kind of Black (1997)
  • My Once Upon A Time (2001)
  • New Writing 12 (2004)
  • Underwords: The Booktrust London Short Story Competition Anthology (as co-author) (2005)
  • Ox-Tales: Air (as co-author) (2009)
  • The Ballad of Dizzy and Miss P (pending)


  1. ^ a b Diran Adebayo (biographical synopsis), British Council, retrieved 15 October 2011 
  2. ^ Cunningham, John (22 September 2001), "Of Wodehouse and Wood Green", The Guardian, retrieved 15 October 2011 
  3. ^ About Diran Adebayo. Official website. Retrieved 24 July 2010.
  4. ^ Kieran Meeke, "Guilty Pleasures - Diran Adebayo", Metro, 27 October 2009.
  5. ^ Oxfam: Ox-Tales


External links[edit]