Natasha Walter

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Natasha Walter
Born (1967-01-20) 20 January 1967 (age 52)
Alma materSt. John's College, Cambridge, Harvard
GenreNon-fiction and fiction
Literary movementFeminism
Notable worksThe New Feminism
Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism
A Quiet Life
RelativesNicolas Walter (father)
William Grey Walter (grandfather)

Natasha Walter (born 20 January 1967) is a British feminist writer and human rights activist. She is the author of a novel, A Quiet Life (2016), two works of feminist non-fiction: Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism (2010, Virago) and The New Feminism (1998, Virago). She is also the founder of the charity Women for Refugee Women.

Background and career[edit]

Her father was Nicolas Walter, an anarchist and secular humanist writer, while her mother Ruth Walter (née Oppenheim) was a teacher and (later) social worker.[1][2] Her grandfather was William Grey Walter, a neuroscientist. Her grandparents on her mother's side were refugees from Nazi Germany.[3]

Walter read English at St John's College, Cambridge, graduating with a double First, and then won a Frank Knox Fellowship to Harvard.[4] Her first job was at Vogue magazine, and she subsequently became Deputy Literary Editor of The Independent and then a columnist for The Guardian. She went on to write for many publications, including ArtReview, and to appear regularly on BBC2's Newsnight Review and Radio 4's Front Row. In 1999 she was a judge on the Booker Prize and in 2013 she was a judge on the Women's Prize for Fiction (formerly the Orange Prize).

Walter was the founder in 2006 and director of the charity Women for Refugee Women which supports women who seek asylum.[1] In 2008 Women for Refugee Women produced the play Motherland which Natasha Walter wrote based on the experiences of women and children in immigration detention. It was directed by Juliet Stevenson and performed at the Young Vic in 2008 by Juliet Stevenson, Harriet Walter and others. Women for Refugee Women subsequently worked in partnership with other organisations to campaign for the end to the detention of children for immigration purposes in the UK, a policy which the government announced it would end in 2010.

Women for Refugee Women currently supports refugee women throughout the UK and campaigns for an end to the detention of women who seek asylum.

She is the author of The New Feminism, which was an influential feminist book published by Virago in 1998. Her book Living Dolls, also published by Virago, looks at the resurgence of sexism in contemporary culture.[4]

In March 2015, Natasha Walter was the Humanitas Visiting Professor of Women's Rights at Cambridge University.[5]

Walter is also the author of a novel, A Quiet Life,[6] which is based loosely on the life of Melinda Marling, the wife of Cambridge spy Donald Maclean.

Natasha Walter lives in London with her partner and their two children.


  • The New Feminism (1998). ISBN 978-1-86049-636-3
  • On the Move: feminism for a new generation (1999). ISBN 978-1-86049-818-3
  • Living Dolls (2009). ISBN 978-1-84408-484-5
  • A Quiet Life (2016) ISBN 978-0008113759


  1. ^ a b Cochrane, Kira (24 January 2010). "Natasha Walter: 'I believed sexism in our culture would wither away. I was entirely wrong'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 13 December 2016.
  2. ^ Walter, Natasha (14 February 2018). "Ruth Walter". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 February 2018.
  3. ^ Walter, Natasha (12 November 2017). "My great-grandparents died in the Holocaust but now I want German citizenship". The Observer. Retrieved 12 November 2017. (Originally published as Walter, =Natasha (23 November 2017). "Heimat". The New York Review of Books. Retrieved 12 November 2017.)
  4. ^ a b Kira Cochrane, "Natasha Walter: 'I believed sexism in our culture would wither away. I was entirely wrong'", The Guardian, 25 January 2010.
  5. ^ "Humanitas Visiting Professorships – CRASSH". Retrieved 7 December 2016.
  6. ^ "A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter". Retrieved 7 December 2016.

External links[edit]