Isabel Greenberg

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Isabel Greenberg is a British graphic novelist and illustrator. Her first book, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth, was published in 2013 by Jonathan Cape in the UK, Little Brown in the US and Random House in Canada.[1]


Greenberg has been published in The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times and Nobrow Press.[2]

In 2013, she was one of 20 leading graphic designers and illustrators to feature in the Memory Palace exhibition at the V & A, sponsored by Sky Arts.[3] An original piece of fiction by Hari Kunzru was transformed into a "walk-in graphic novel".[4]

In 2014, she was a select at Pick Me Up at Somerset House.[5]

She has worked with Chatham Dockyard, Tyntesfield House and The Museum of Marco Polo.[2]

The Observer/Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize[edit]

Greenberg first entered the prize in 2009, when she came second.

She entered again in 2011 and won[6] with Love in a Very Cold Climate, a love story about a Nord, a north-pole dweller, and a Suit, a south-pole dweller, who can never touch.

Graphic novels[edit]

Greenberg's first graphic novel, The Encyclopedia of Early Earth (2013), is a series of interlinking stories set in Early Earth, where her prize-winning short story was also set. Rachel Cooke, reviewing her book in The Guardian, said "her wonderful book already feels like a classic" and compared her to Tove Jansson.[7] It has been translated into German, Spanish, French[8] and Polish.

In 2016, Greenberg released her second graphic novel, The One Hundred Nights of Hero.[9]

In Glass Town (2020), parts of the Brontë juvenilia are retold and intersected with the lives of four Brontë children — Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, as they explore the paracosm they created.[10][11] James Smart, for The Guardian, wrote: "Greenberg blurs fiction and memoir: characters walk between worlds and woo their creators. [...] This is a tale, bookended by funerals, about the collision between dreamlike places of possibility and constrained 19th-century lives".[12]

Personal life[edit]

Greenberg attended Brighton School of Art, studying illustration.

Greenberg currently lives in London, England.


  1. ^ "The Encyclopedia of Early Earth". Isabel Greenberg.
  2. ^ a b "Graphic Novels". Isabel Greenberg.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-05-21. Retrieved 2015-02-13.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Wainwright, Oliver (18 June 2013). "Hari Kunzru's Memory Palace creates a 'walk-in' graphic novel at the V&A". The Guardian.
  5. ^ ..
  6. ^ Cooke, Rachel (6 November 2011). "The Observer/Cape Graphic Short Story Prize 2011". The Guardian.
  7. ^ Cooke, Rachel (14 October 2013). "The Encyclopedia of Early Earth by Isabel Greenberg – review". The Guardian.
  8. ^ "About Isabel Greenberg - isabelnecessary". Archived from the original on 2018-05-10. Retrieved 2015-02-13.
  9. ^ Serrao, Nivea (5 December 2016). "'The One Hundred Nights of Hero': EW Review". Retrieved 17 April 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Puc, Samantha (2020-02-29). "10 New Graphic Novels to Read for Women's History Month". CBR. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  11. ^ "Glass Town: The Imaginary World of the Brontës". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 2020-10-27.
  12. ^ Smart, James (2020-02-22). "Glass Town by Isabel Greenberg review – inside the Brontës' dreamworld". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-10-27.