Daisy Johnson (writer)

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Daisy Johnson
Alma materLancaster University, Somerville College, Oxford
Genrefiction, short stories
Notable worksEverything Under (novel)

Daisy Johnson (born 1990) is a British novelist and short story writer.[1] Her debut novel, Everything Under, was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize[2], and is the youngest nominee in the prize's history. For her short-stories, she has won three awards since 2014.


Johnson was born in Paignton in 1990 and grew up around Saffon Waldon.[1][3] She earned her Bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing from Lancaster University before earning a Master's degree in Creative Writing at Somerville College, Oxford where she also worked at Blackwell's.[4][5] While at Oxford, she won the 2014 AM Heath Prize for fiction while working on her first short story collection, and had short stories published in The Warwick Review and the Boston Review.[6][7][8] Shortly after, she won the 2016 Harper's Bazaar short story prize for "What The House Remembers".[9]

In 2015, she won a two book deal with publisher Jonathan Cape for a short story collection and a novel.[10] The short story collection titled Fen was published in 2017. It is set in the fens of England and draws upon the memories of the area where Johnson grew up. It comprises a set of linked short stories, focusing on the experiences of women and girls in a small town. Johnson describes the collection as liminal and mythic.[11] The collection won the 2017 Edge Hill Short Story Prize.[12]

Johnson followed Fen with her debut novel, Everything Under, in 2018. The novels focuses on the relationship between Gretel, a lexicographer, and her mother and is set against a backdrop of the British countryside. Gretel grows up on a canal boat with her mother and they invent a language to use between them. Gretel's mother abandons her when Gretel is sixteen, and the novel starts sixteen years later with a phone call. Johnson worked on the novel for around four years,[3] starting it at the same time as her short story collection to challenge herself to write something longer. She went through at least five drafts of the book, made several changes to characters and setting,[13] and for a period, was titled Eggtooth.[14]

Everything Under was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize. Johnson is the youngest author to be shortlisted for the prize.[15]

Johnson currently lives in Oxford.[16] Her favourite writers include Stephen King, Evie Wyld, Helen Oyeyemi and John Burnside. Her favourite poets include Robin Robertson and Sharon Olds.[17] Had she been unsuccessful as a writer, Johnson suggests that she would have been a shepherd.[1]



Short story collections[edit]



  1. ^ a b c "Daisy Johnson: "If I weren't living off my writing I'd be a shepherd"". www.newstatesman.com. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  2. ^ Flood, Alison (2018-07-23). "Man Booker prize 2018 longlist includes graphic novel for the first time". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
  3. ^ a b "Lancaster graduate is youngest ever Booker Prize nominee". www.lancaster.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  4. ^ Oxford, University of. "Alumna Daisy Johnson Shortlisted for Man Booker Prize 2018". Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  5. ^ "Oxford author youngest ever on Man Booker shortlist". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  6. ^ a b "MSt News: Daisy Johnson wins the 2014 AM Heath Prize". Master's in Creative Writing. 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  7. ^ "The Warwick Review Vol.8 No.1 Mar 2014". warwick.ac.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  8. ^ Johnson, Daisy (2015-01-07). "There Was a Fox in the Bedroom". Boston Review. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  9. ^ a b "Bazaar's Short Story Competition". Harper's BAZAAR. 2016-05-06. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  10. ^ "MSt alumna Daisy Johnson "On getting an offer for my writing …"". Master's in Creative Writing. 2015-03-02. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  11. ^ Foyles (2016-06-21), Daisy Johnson on Fen | Short stories, creative writing, landscape and gender, retrieved 2018-10-13
  12. ^ "Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2017 winner announced - News". News. 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  13. ^ Kushner, Rachel; Burns, Anna; Edugyan, Esi; Robertson, Robin; Powers, Richard; Johnson, Daisy (2018-10-13). "How I write: Man Booker shortlist authors reveal their inspirations". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  14. ^ a b "2017 Longlist - The Sunday Times Short Story Awards". shortstoryaward.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  15. ^ "Daisy Johnson is youngest Booker nominee". BBC News. 2018-09-20. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  16. ^ "Daisy Johnson". www.penguin.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  17. ^ "Web Exclusive Interview: Daisy Johnson -". American Short Fiction. 2017-04-24. Retrieved 2018-10-13.
  18. ^ "MSt alumna Daisy Johnson longlisted for Sunday Times EFG Short Story award". Master's in Creative Writing. 2017-02-13. Retrieved 2018-10-13.

External links[edit]