Gaby Wood

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Gaby Wood

Born1971 (age 50–51)
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
OccupationJournalist, literary critic, author
Known forLiterary director of the Booker Prize Foundation
ParentMichael Wood (father)

Gaby Wood, Hon. FRSL (born 1971), is an English journalist, author and literary critic who has written for publications including The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, London Review of Books, Granta, and Vogue. She is the literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation, appointed in succession to Ion Trewin and having taken over the post at the conclusion of the prize for 2015.[1][2]


Wood read French literature at Cambridge University, and was a recipient of the Harper-Wood Studentship from St John's College in 1999.[3][4] She was a journalist at The Observer from 2002, and during her time at the paper was deputy literary editor, arts editor, editor of the review section and New York correspondent for seven years.[5]

Wood's book Living Dolls: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life (US edition: Edison's Eve)[6] was published in 2002.[7] Described by Miranda Seymour in The New York Times as a "lively, elegant and surprising book, packed with curious details and enticing anecdotes",[8] it was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2003.[9]

Wood was awarded a 2007–2008 Cullman fellowship at the New York Public Library.[10]

Wood was The Daily Telegraph's head of books, overseeing literature coverage, from January 2010[11][12] until 2015, and continues to write for the paper.[13][14] She has also written for the London Review of Books,[15] The Guardian, Granta, and US Vogue,[11][16] among other publications, and has served as a judge for literary awards including the Man Booker Prize in 2011, Granta magazine's Best of Young British Novelists, the Jerwood Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize (2013),[17] and the Bookseller Industry Awards.[14][13]

Wood was announced as literary director of the Booker Prize Foundation in April 2015, a few weeks after the death of her predecessor Ion Trewin (who had held the role since 2006, taking over from Martyn Goff, who ran the prize for three decades).[1][14][18][19]

In July 2021, Wood was elected an honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Wood is the daughter of Michael Wood, Professor Emeritus in English at Princeton University,[1] and has described herself as "half-Mexican, half-British ... growing up in Mexico and England".[21] She has two daughters.[5]

Selected bibliography[edit]

  • The Smallest Of All Persons Mentioned In The Records Of Littleness, Profile Books, 1998 ISBN 978-1861970886
  • Living Dolls: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life, Faber and Faber, 2002, ISBN 978-0571178797; paperback 2003, ISBN 978-0571214662.


  1. ^ a b c Flood, Alison (30 April 2015). "Gaby Wood, head of books at Daily Telegraph, appointed as new literary director of Booker prize foundation". The Guardian.
  2. ^ Jennifer (20 April 2015), "Booker Prize Foundation Hints at New Direction with Appointment of Gaby Wood as Literary Director", Books Live, Sunday Times.
  3. ^ Crawforth, Eleanor (May–June 2012), "News and Notes", PN Review 205, Volume 38 Number 5.
  4. ^ Everest, Paul (2018), "The Story of the Harper-Wood", The Eagle (St John's College, University of Cambridge), Vol. 100, p. 38.
  5. ^ a b Keegan, Hannah (15 March 2019), "Journalist Gaby Wood on why she’ll never forget this one-word answer from Donald Trump", Stylist.
  6. ^ "Living dolls : a magical history of the quest for mechanical life". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  7. ^ Schaffer, Simon (24 February 2002). "Wise guys and living dolls". The Observer.
  8. ^ Seymour, Miranda (25 August 2002), "The Ghosts in the Machines", The New York Times.
  9. ^ "Fellows and Their Topics for the Year 2007-2008", New York Public Library.
  10. ^ Taylor, Kate (3 April 2007), "Library Fellows Announced!, The New York Sun.
  11. ^ a b Gunter, Joel (26 January 2010). "The Daily Telegraph appoints Gaby Wood head of books".
  12. ^ Weydert, Michele (21 January 2010). "Observer's Gaby Wood to join the Telegraph". Press Gazette. Retrieved 17 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Page, Benedicte (30 April 2015), "Gaby Wood made Booker's literary director", The Bookseller.
  14. ^ a b c "Gaby Wood appointed as the next Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation", The Booker Prizes, 29 April 2015.
  15. ^ Gaby Wood profile, London Review of Books.
  16. ^ Gaby Wood profile, Vogue.
  17. ^ "Eimear McBride wins Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize", The Irish Times, 21 November 2014.
  18. ^ Furness, Hannah (30 April 2015). "Gaby Wood, Telegraph head of books, appointed Booker Prize director". The Daily Telegraph.
  19. ^ "Telegraph critic Gaby Wood to run Man Booker Prize", BBC News, 30 April 2015.
  20. ^ Bayley, Sian (6 July 2021). "RSL launches three-year school reading project as new fellows announced". The Bookseller. Retrieved 6 July 2021.
  21. ^ Wood, Gaby (7 June 2009), "Why does the US hate my Mexican heritage?", The Guardian.

External links[edit]

  • Gaby Wood, Observer contributor page
  • Gaby Wood, The Telegraph contributor page
  • [1], Yahoo contributor page