Gwendoline Riley

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Gwendoline Riley FRSL is an English writer.

Early life and education[edit]

Riley was born in London, England in 1979. She attended Manchester Metropolitan University.[1]


Riley's first novel, Cold Water, was named one of the five outstanding debut novels of 2002 by The Guardian 'Weekend' magazine and also won a Betty Trask Award.[2] Sick Notes followed in 2004 and Joshua Spassky in 2007. For Cold Water and Sick Notes, the drama unfolds in Manchester, occasionally extending to different areas of Lancashire. Joshua Spassky, however, is set in Asheville, North Carolina — the town where Zelda Fitzgerald died in a fire at the Highland Hospital. Joshua Spassky won the 2008 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2007 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her fourth novel, Opposed Positions, was published in May 2012. Her fifth, First Love, was published in February 2017[3] and was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the Gordon Burn Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

In June 2018 Riley was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its "40 Under 40" initiative.[4]


  • Cold Water (novel) (2002) [5]

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ Biography, British Council
  2. ^ a b "Previous Winners of Betty Trask Prize and Awards". Society of Authors. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Flood, Alison (2018-06-28). "Royal Society of Literature admits 40 new fellows to address historical biases". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-03.
  5. ^ "Cold Water". Goodreads. Retrieved August 29, 2018.

External links[edit]