Claire Fuller

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Claire Fuller
Born (1967-02-09) 9 February 1967 (age 52)
Oxfordshire, England
ResidenceWinchester, English
EducationBA 1989, MA 2013
Alma materUniversity of Winchester

Claire Fuller (born 9 February 1967) is an English author who won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for her debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days.[1] She also won the BBC Opening Lines Short Story Competition in 2014[2] and the Royal Academy & Pin Drop Short Story Award in 2016.[3][4] Her second novel, Swimming Lessons, was shortlisted for the 2018 Royal Society of Literature Encore Award.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Fuller was born and raised in Oxfordshire. In the 1980s she studied sculpture at Winchester School of Art, working mainly in wood and stone, before embarking on a marketing career. She began writing fiction at the age of 40 and holds a master's degree in creative and critical writing from the University of Winchester. Our Endless Numbered Days has been published in the UK by Penguin Books, in the United States (Tin House) and Canada (House of Anansi Press), and in translation in France, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Taiwan, Turkey, Brazil, the Czech Republic and Denmark. It was also to be published in Germany in 2019.[6]

Fuller's second novel, Swimming Lessons, was published by Penguin in January 2017. It was also published in the United States (Tin House), Canada (House of Anansi Press) and Germany (Piper Verlag), and was to be published in France, China and Poland.[7] Of the writing process, she told a fellow writer, "Getting the words down is torture. Once they're written, I love rewriting, editing and polishing."[8]

Fuller's third novel, Bitter Orange, was published in August 2018 by Penguin Books. It has also been published in the United States (Tin House), Canada (House of Anansi Press) and Germany. It will be published in France, Spain, Greece and Russia.

Her stories and essays can also be found published in the Sunday Express,[9] Litro,[10] HuffPost,[11] The Telegraph,[12] and elsewhere.[13]

She is married, with a son and a daughter.[7]


  • Our Endless Numbered Days (2015)

Our Endless Numbered Days won the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for debut fiction and was long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award. It was also nominated for the 2015 Edinburgh First Book Award, longlisted for the 2016 Waverton Good Read Award and was a finalist in the American Booksellers Association's 2016 Indies Best Books Award. It was a Richard & Judy Book Club pick for Spring 2016, and a Waterstones Book Club book. In 2015 it was selected by Powells as an indispensable book.

It tells the story of Peggy Hillcoat, who when she is eight in 1976, spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother's grand piano.

After a family crisis which Peggy doesn't fully understand until later, her survivalist father James, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared. And so her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival and a tiny wooden hut that is Everything. Peggy isn't seen again for another nine years.

  • Swimming Lessons (2017)

Swimming Lessons tells the story of Ingrid Coleman who writes letters to her husband, Gil about the truth of their marriage, but decides not to send them. Instead she hides them within the thousands of books her husband collects. After she writes her final letter, Ingrid disappears from an English beach. Twelve years later, her adult daughter, Flora comes home after Gil says he has spotted Ingrid through a bookshop window. Flora, who has existed in a limbo of hope and grief, imagination and fact, wants answers, but doesn't realise that what she's looking for is hidden in the books that surround her.

  • Bitter Orange (2018)

Frances Jellico is dying and remembering the summer of 1969, when she was commissioned to survey the follies in the garden of Lyntons – a decrepit and almost derelict country house. There, living in the attic for a month or so, she meets Cara and Peter who are staying in the rooms below hers. As Frances falls under her new friends' spell and she learns their stories, the house offers up its own secrets, until her life is changed forever.


  • Our Endless Numbered Days, Tin House Books, 2015, ISBN 978-1941040171
  • Swimming Lessons, Tin House Books, 2017, ISBN 978-1941040515
  • Bitter Orange, Tin House Books, 2018, ISBN 978-1947793156


  1. ^ "Claire Fuller wins debut-novel Desmond Elliott Prize". BBC News. 1 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  2. ^ "BBC Opening Lines Short Story Competition 2014". Opening Lines website. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  3. ^ "Royal Academy / Pin Drop Short Story Award 2016". Archived from the original on 10 November 2016. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  4. ^ "Fuller wins Royal Academy & Pin Drop short story prize | The Bookseller". Retrieved 30 April 2018.
  5. ^ "Royal Society of Literature Encore Award 2018" (PDF). RSL. Retrieved 11 April 2018.
  6. ^ Author's website. [1]; Goodreads biography. [2] Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  7. ^ a b Guardian article. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  8. ^ R. F. Hunt's blog. Retrieved 6 July 2015.
  9. ^ Fuller, Claire (22 February 2015). "Exclusive short story: The Magic Of Scotland by Claire Fuller". Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Brilliant and Fast by Claire Fuller". Litro Magazine Stories Transport you. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  11. ^ Fuller, Claire (19 March 2015). "Music And Writing". Huffington Post. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  12. ^ Fuller, Claire (27 February 2015). "What it's like to fall in love with a widower". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 10 February 2018.
  13. ^ "Online examples". Claire Fuller. 20 February 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2018.

External links[edit]