|Born||1974 (age 47–48)|
|Education||South Hampstead High School|
|Alma mater||Lincoln College, Oxford|
University of East Anglia
|Notable works||Disobedience (2006)|
The Power (2016)
Naomi Alderman (born 1974) is an English novelist and game writer. She was born in 1974 in London, England. She is best known for her speculative science fiction novel The Power, which won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2017.
Alderman was born in London, the daughter of Geoffrey Alderman, a specialist in Anglo-Jewish history who has described himself as an unconventional Orthodox Jew. 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 moved to the United States for her work; at that time she began to explore the world of fan fiction, focusing on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
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 also named as one of the 25 Writers of the Future by Waterstones. 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. 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." 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.
Alderman was the lead writer for Perplex City, an alternate reality game, at Mind Candy from 2004 through June 2007. She went on to become lead writer on the running app Zombies, Run! which launched in 2012 and on the walking app The Walk which launched in December 2013. 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, novel about a North London rabbi's bisexual daughter living in New York, which won her the 2006 Orange Award for New Writers, the 2007 Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, and a feature as one of the Waterstones 25 Writers for the Future. 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. 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. 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'". 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. All three novels have been serialised on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.
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. Her Doctor Who novel Borrowed Time was published in June 2011.
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. Atwood and Alderman co-wrote “The Happy Zombie Sunrise Home” and self-published the work online on Wattpad in 2012.
Alderman's fourth novel, The Power, was published in 2016. The Power is dedicated to and influenced by Atwood. The Power won the Women's Prize for Fiction in 2017. 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.
- —— (2006). Disobedience (hardcover 1st ed.). Touchstone Books. p. 227. ISBN 978-0743291569.
- —— (2010). The Lessons (paperback ed.). Viking Books. p. 288. ISBN 978-0670916290.
- —— (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.
- Kean, Danuta (7 June 2017). "Baileys prize goes to 'classic of the future' by Naomi Alderman". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
- Fox, Sue, "Relative Values: Geoffrey Alderman and his daughter, Naomi", The Sunday Times, 11 February 2007.
- "Relative Values Geoffrey Alderman and his daughter Naomi". The Times. London. 11 February 2007.
- "BBC NEWS | Entertainment | UK Authors of the Future Unveiled." 2007. BBC News. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/6665401.stm.
- "Archive Access – Granta Magazine". Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Naomi Alderman – Literature". literature.britishcouncil.org.
- La Ferla, R. "Naomi Alderman on the World That Yielded The Power". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 March 2018.
- "Presume not that I am the thing I was". leaving the house. 1 June 2007. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "This is This Zombie Life". Zombies, Run!. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "The Walk press kit". The Walk by Six to Start and Naomi Alderman. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
- 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.
- "Interview: Naomi Alderman, author". The Scotsman. 11 April 2010.
- 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.
- Rabinovitch, Dina (4 March 2006). "This is Hendon: Disobedience by Naomi Alderman gives Dina Rabinovitch the small-town blues". The Guardian.
- Beresford, Lucy (2 July 2006). "A prize-winning portrait of a very unorthodox jew". The Telegraph.
- "New Writers", Women's Prize for Fiction.
- Ish-Horowicz, Shoshi (October 2012). "Books: The Liars' Gospel". Jewish Renaissance. 12 (1): 52.
- Holland, Tom (6 September 2012). "The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- Leake, Mark (6 August 2015). "Naomi Alderman Mix 03 Writing Digital Keynote". Retrieved 20 October 2017 – via YouTube.
- "The Winter House". thewinterhouse.co.uk. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- Johnston, Rich, "Swapping Reputation for Time with the Doctor", Bleeding Cool, 5 May 2011.
- "Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative". Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative: A year of mentoring. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- 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.
- La Ferla, Ruth (28 April 2018). "Naomi Alderman on the World That Yielded 'The Power'". The New York Times.
- Cowdrey, Katherine (16 December 2016), "Alderman's ‘The Power’ to Be TV Series", The Bookseller.
- Personal blog
- Alderman at The Guardian – indexes her contributions
- Alderman at agent David Higham
- "Naomi Alderman's first novel ...", The Guardian, 20 February 2006, based on an interview
- Interview in Scotland on Sunday (April 2010) at The Scotsman
- "UK authors of the future unveiled" (2007) at BBC News
- Naomi Alderman at Library of Congress Authorities, with 7 catalogue records