Naomi Alderman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Naomi Alderman
Born (1974-10-23) 23 October 1974 (age 49)
London, England
OccupationWriter, novelist
EducationSouth Hampstead High School
Alma materLincoln College, Oxford
University of East Anglia
Notable worksDisobedience (2006)
The Power (2016)

Naomi Alderman (born 1974) is an English novelist, game writer, and television executive producer.[1] She is best known for her speculative science fiction novel The Power, which won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2017[2] and has been adapted into a television series for Amazon Studios.[3]


Alderman was born in London, the daughter of Geoffrey Alderman, a specialist in Anglo-Jewish history[4] who has described himself as an unconventional Orthodox Jew.[5] Alderman was educated at South Hampstead High School and Lincoln College, Oxford, where she read Philosophy, Politics and Economics. After she left Oxford, she worked in children's publishing and then for a law firm, editing their publications. She went on to study creative writing at the University of East Anglia before becoming a novelist. In 2007, The Sunday Times named her their Young Writer of the Year. In 2007, she was named as one of the 25 Writers of the Future by Waterstones.[6]

In 2012, Alderman was appointed professor of creative writing at Bath Spa University, England. In 2013, she was included in the Granta once-a-decade list of 20 best young writers.[7][8] She writes a monthly technology column for The Guardian.

Alderman became an advocate for feminism in her teenage years and has since supported women's rights, which has influenced her works. She stated in a 2018 New York Times interview, "When I was a teenager in the 1990s, it was a common thing among young women to say that feminism's battles are won. Now I think it's very horrifically obvious that that is not the case."[9] She wrote The Power to address points made by the fourth-wave feminism movement and cites the Me Too movement as an inspiration and a source of similar dialogue.[9]


Alderman was the lead writer for Perplex City, an alternative reality game, at the company Mind Candy.[10] She went on to become lead writer on other apps including Zombies, Run! and The Walk.[11] In 2018 The Walk was turned into a podcast and released through Panoply Media.

Alderman's literary début came in 2006 with Disobedience, a well-received, if somewhat controversial,[12][13][14] novel about a North London rabbi's bisexual[15][16] daughter living in New York, which won Alderman the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers,[17][2] the 2007 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a feature as one of the Waterstones 25 Writers for the Future.[12] It led her to reject her life as a practising Jew. "I went into the novel religious and by the end I wasn't. I wrote myself out of it," she told Claire Armitstead of The Guardian in 2016.[14] Her second novel, The Lessons, was published in 2010.

Her third novel, The Liars' Gospel (Viking), with Jesus portrayed as the Jewish preacher Yehoshuah, was published in paperback in 2012.[14] Reviewing the book, Shoshi Ish-Horowicz in the Jewish Renaissance magazine described it as "an entertaining, engaging read" but found the story it told "uncomfortable and problematic. Your enjoyment of the novel will depend on how you respond to the premise that Jesus was, potentially, an 'inconsequential preacher'".[18] Set in and around Jerusalem between Pompey's Siege of Jerusalem (63 BC) and Titus' Siege of Jerusalem (70), it is narrated in four main sections from the perspective of four key figures: Mary, Judas Iscariot, Caiaphas and Barabbas.[19] All three novels have been serialised on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.[20]

She wrote the narrative for The Winter House, an online interactive linear short story visualised by Jey Biddulph. The project was commissioned by BookTrust as part of the Story campaign, supported by Arts Council England.[21] Her Doctor Who novel Borrowed Time was published in June 2011.[22]

In 2012, Alderman was selected as a protégée by Margaret Atwood as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, an international philanthropic programme that pairs masters in their disciplines with emerging talents for a year of one-to-one creative exchange.[23] Atwood and Alderman co-wrote “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home” and self-published the work online on Wattpad in 2012.[24]

Alderman's fourth novel, The Power, was published in 2016.[25] The Power is dedicated to and influenced by Atwood.[14] The Power won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2017.[2] Alderman has confirmed that she has sold the rights of The Power to Sister Pictures, the same company who produced Broadchurch, after receiving eleven offers. She is hoping for a multi-season run to explore and delve into the world she created in The Power.[26]


  • —— (2006). Disobedience (hardcover 1st ed.). Touchstone Books. p. 227. ISBN 978-0743291569.
  • —— (2010). The Lessons (paperback ed.). Viking Books. p. 288. ISBN 978-0670916290.
  • —— (2011). Borrowed Time (hardback ed.). BBC Books. p. 255. ISBN 978-1-84990-233-5.
  • —— (2012). The Liars' Gospel (hardcover 1st ed.). Viking Books. p. 272. ISBN 978-0670919901.
  • —— (2016). The Power (hardcover 2017 ed.). Little, Brown. p. 400. ISBN 978-0316547611.
  • —— (2023). The Future (hardcover 2023 ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 432. ISBN 978-1668025680.[27][28][29][30][31][32]


  1. ^ "Naomi Alderman". IMDb. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  2. ^ a b c Kean, Danuta (7 June 2017). "Baileys prize goes to 'classic of the future' by Naomi Alderman". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  3. ^ "The Power: Release date, cast and trailer for Prime Video sci-fi series". Radio Times. Retrieved 24 March 2023.
  4. ^ Fox, Sue, "Relative Values: Geoffrey Alderman and his daughter, Naomi", The Sunday Times, 11 February 2007.
  5. ^ "Relative Values Geoffrey Alderman and his daughter Naomi". The Times. London. 11 February 2007.
  6. ^ "UK Authors of the Future Unveiled", Accessed 26 December 2022.
  7. ^ "Archive Access – Granta Magazine". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  8. ^ "Naomi Alderman – Literature".
  9. ^ a b La Ferla, R (29 January 2018). "Naomi Alderman on the World That Yielded The Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Presume not that I am the thing I was". leaving the house. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  11. ^ "The Walk press kit". The Walk by Six to Start and Naomi Alderman. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  12. ^ a b Jilani, Sarah (26 October 2016). "Naomi Alderman interview: 'The book's not mine anymore, the rights are sold'". The Independent. Archived from the original on 18 June 2022.
  13. ^ "Interview: Naomi Alderman, author". The Scotsman. 11 April 2010.
  14. ^ a b c d Armitstead, Claire (28 October 2016). "Naomi Alderman: 'I went into the novel religious and by the end I wasn't. I wrote myself out of it'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
  15. ^ Rabinovitch, Dina (4 March 2006). "This is Hendon: Disobedience by Naomi Alderman gives Dina Rabinovitch the small-town blues". The Guardian.
  16. ^ Beresford, Lucy (2 July 2006). "A prize-winning portrait of a very unorthodox jew". The Telegraph.
  17. ^ "New Writers", Women's Prize for Fiction.
  18. ^ Ish-Horowicz, Shoshi (October 2012). "Books: The Liars' Gospel". Jewish Renaissance. 12 (1): 52.
  19. ^ Holland, Tom (6 September 2012). "The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
  20. ^ Leake, Mark (6 August 2015). "Naomi Alderman Mix 03 Writing Digital Keynote". Retrieved 20 October 2017 – via YouTube.
  21. ^ "The Winter House". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  22. ^ Johnston, Rich, "Swapping Reputation for Time with the Doctor", Bleeding Cool, 5 May 2011.
  23. ^ "Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative". Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative: A year of mentoring. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
  24. ^ Schinsky, Rebecca Joine (31 October 2012). "The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home — An Excerpt of Margaret Atwood's Exclusive Wattpad Story". Book Riot. Archived from the original on 6 April 2021. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  25. ^ La Ferla, Ruth (28 April 2018). "Naomi Alderman on the World That Yielded 'The Power'". The New York Times.
  26. ^ Cowdrey, Katherine (16 December 2016), "Alderman's ‘The Power’ to Be TV Series", The Bookseller.
  27. ^ Wang, Ian (7 November 2023). "In 'The Future,' Earth Barrels Toward Fiery Destruction". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  28. ^ "Video 'GMA' Buzz pick: 'The Future' by Naomi Alderman". ABC News. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  29. ^ "Review | 'The Power' author Naomi Alderman finds a new target: Capitalism". Washington Post. 3 November 2023. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  30. ^ Allardice, Lisa (4 November 2023). "Naomi Alderman: 'A writer's job is courage. You've got to be as honest as you can"". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 19 November 2023.
  31. ^ "'The Future' asks if technology will save humanity or accelerate its end". NPR. 8 November 2023.
  32. ^ Masad, Ilana (7 November 2023). "In 'The Future,' as in the present, it's billionaires vs. cult leaders vs. influencers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 19 November 2023.

External links[edit]