Edward St Aubyn
St Aubyn grew up in London and France, where his family had a house. His father, Roger, of half-Scottish descent, was a former soldier and a surgeon. His mother, Lorna, was descended from a wealthy American family based in Cincinnati. St Aubyn has described an unhappy childhood in which he was repeatedly raped by his father from the ages of five to eight with the complicity of his mother.
He attended Westminster School and in 1979 went on to read English at Keble College, Oxford University by which time he was a heroin addict. He entered psychotherapy at the age of twenty-five and subsequently became a professional writer.
Edward St Aubyn has two children, and lives in London. In his 20s he was briefly married to the author Nicola Shulman.
Patrick Melrose Series
Five of St Aubyn's novels, Never Mind, Bad News, Some Hope, Mother's Milk, and At Last, form The Patrick Melrose Novels, republished in a single volume in 2012. They are based on the author's own life, growing up in a highly dysfunctional upper-class English family, dealing with the deaths of both parents, alcoholism, heroin addiction and recovery, and marriage and parenthood.
Although the Melrose books are sometimes portrayed in the media as tales of decadent aristocracy, they are frequently caustic about the futility and triviality of people with inherited wealth, a point made very explicit in At Last, the final book in the Melrose series.
The books have been hailed as a powerful exploration of how emotional health can be carved out of childhood adversity.
Mother's Milk was made into a feature film in 2012. The screenplay was written by St Aubyn and director Gerald Fox. It stars Jack Davenport, Adrian Dunbar, Diana Quick, and Margaret Tyzack in her last performance.
Awards and honours
- 1992 Betty Trask Award winner for Never Mind
- 1998 Guardian Fiction Prize shortlisted for On the Edge
- 2006 Man Booker Prize shortlisted for Mother's Milk
- 2007 Prix Femina Etranger winner for Mother's Milk
- 2007 South Bank Show award on literature winner for Mother's Milk
- 2014 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize winner for Lost for Words
- Never Mind. Picador USA. 1992. ISBN 9781447202936.
- Bad News. Picador USA. 1992. ISBN 9781447202950.
- Some Hope. Heinemann. 1994.
- On The Edge. Chatto & Windus. 1998. ISBN 10701167254.
- A Clue To The Exit. Chatto & Windus. 2000. ISBN 0701169605.
- Some Hope: A Trilogy. Grove Press, Open City Books. 2003. ISBN 1890447366.
- Mother's Milk. Grove Press, Open City Books. 2005. ISBN 978-1890447403.
- At Last. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. ISBN 978-0374298890.
- Lost for Words. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2014. ISBN 9780374280291.
- Brown, Mick (2 May 2014). "'How writing helped Edward St Aubyn exorcise his demons'". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Moss, Stephen (17 August 2011). "'Edward St Aubyn: 'Writing is horrible". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 4 May 2014.
- Kakutani, Michiko (21 February 2012). "Laying to Rest Familial Horrors: Edward St. Aubyn’s ‘At Last,’ an Autobiographical Novel". New York Times. Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- James, OW, 2013, How to Achieve Emotional Health, London: Vermilion
- Guardian interview
- The Independent article
- "Edward St Aubyn and the enigma of consciousness" (Telegraph)
- Ian Parker, The Real Life of Edward St Aubyn. The New Yorker, 2014-06-02.
- Author website