Edward Docx

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Edward Docx
EdDocx-1031 2WEB-2.jpg
Edward Docx in 2017
Occupation Writer
Nationality British
Notable works

Novels: The Calligrapher, Pravda, The Devil's Garden

Essays: Postmodernism is Dead, Walking with Karl

Edward Docx (born 1972[1]) is a British writer. His first novel, The Calligrapher was published in 2003. He is an associate editor of Prospect Magazine.


Docx was born in Newcastle. He was educated at St Bede's College in Moss Side in city-center Manchester and then at Christ's College, Cambridge,[1] where he read English Literature.[1]

Docx's father is a specialist dentist.[2] His mother was a classical music agent and is Russian.[2] He is the eldest son of a family of seven children and has described his upbringing as eccentric.[3]


Edward Docx's first novel, The Calligrapher (2003), was short-listed for both the William Saroyan prize[4] and the Guilford Prize. The San Francisco Chronicle called it the best debut book of the year.[5]

This was followed by Pravda (2007, entitled Self Help in the UK), which was long-listed for the Man-Booker Prize (2007)[6] and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (2007).

His third novel was The Devil’s Garden (2011), which is in production with Mandabach Productions.

Docx's work is often extremely well received by critics in the UK[7][8] and America.[9][10] The New York Times has described him as 'fiendishly clever'[11] and The Independent as a 'virtuoso phrasemaker' and one of the most humane writers of his generation.[12] Docx was cited as one of the 21 most gifted young writers from around the world by The Hay Festival Committee (2008).[13]

Docx's plays include The Nose, commissioned by BBC based on Gogol’s short story, and ‘Bounce’ or 'The President's Dog', a screenplay in conjunction with Riley Productions.

Themes & Style[edit]

Docx's novels are very different from one another in range, scope and subject. But all three deal broadly with antiphonal themes of masculinity and femininity, atheism and religious belief, love and desire, and all three are peopled with opposing moral and amoral characters who are uncertain actors in their own lives. His work is generally considered literary and though contemporary in tone and concern, it is evidently aware of both novelists and poets from the canon - explicitly so in the case of The Calligrapher, which centers on the poetry of John Donne.

Docx has been compared to writers as diverse as Dickens,[7] Dostoyevsky[9] and Coetzee.[14] And his writing is often praised for its descriptive skill.[15] But his work is chiefly noted for its vitality and the attention given to character as well as style: 'Docx has a gift for assessing “the exact shape and weight of other people’s inner selves, the architecture of their spirit” and even his most ancillary characters flare into being, vital and insistent.' The New Yorker.[16]


"All art is philosophy and all philosophy is political."[17]

"Half the world is screaming for water and freedom while the other half is ordering cocktails and complaining about the service."[18]


Docx has contributed to most of the leading British and American newspapers and magazines. In the UK, his journalism most often appears in The Guardian [19] or Prospect Magazine.[20] Docx was short-listed for The George Orwell Prize for Journalism in 2012.[21] He was short-listed in 2014 for the Foreign Press Association Feature of the Year.[22] And Docx was again long-listed for the George Orwell Rowntree Prize in 2015.[23] He has worked in The House of Commons and has interviewed several of the British party political leaders.

Criticism, Radio & Television[edit]

Docx reviews fiction for The Guardian.[19] He has also worked extensively on television and radio. He presented his own show for BBC Television[24] and BBC Radio.[25] He has written widely on the cultural importance of literature and is a regular teacher of The Guardian's Masterclass series on fiction.[26]


Docx campaigned publicly for the UK to Remain in the European Union.[27]


External links[edit]