Simon Mawer

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Simon Mawer at Book World 2010

Simon Mawer (/ˈmɔːr/ MAWR; born 1948, England[1]) is a British author who lives in Italy.

Life and work[edit]

Born in 1948 and was educated at Millfield School in Somerset and at Brasenose College, Oxford, Mawer took a degree in Zoology and has worked as a biology teacher for most of his life. He published his first novel, Chimera, (Hamish Hamilton, 1989) at the comparatively late age of forty-one. It won the McKitterick Prize for a first novels by an author over the age of forty. Mendel's Dwarf followed three works of modest success and established him as a writer of note on both sides of the Atlantic.[citation needed] The New York Times described it as a "thematically ambitious and witty novel".[2] Uzo optioned film rights, and then later Barbra Streisand optioned them.

The novels The Gospel of Judas and The Fall came next, followed bySwimming to Ithaca, a novel partially inspired by his childhood on the island of Cyprus. The non-fiction A Place in Italy (1992), written in the wake of A year in Provence, followed and recounts the first two years in the Italian village where he lived. He then published another non-fiction book, Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics, published in conjunction with the Field Museum of Chicago as a companion volume to the museum's concurrent exhibition of the same name.

In 2009, Mawer published The Glass Room, a novel about a modernist villa built in a Czech city. His 2012 book The Girl Who Fell from the Sky was received positively on both sides of the Atlantic, described as "a professionally crafted and engaging story" and a "skillfully and intelligently executed thriller".[3] In 2015 he published Tightrope, a follow-on novel from The Girl Who Fell from the Sky. Tightrope has been described as "...skillful and evocative examination of a mind under stress. Most recently, he wrote Prague Spring (2018) about Brits living in and travelling through Czechoslovakia during both the Prague Spring and subsequent Warsaw Pact invasion.

Personal life[edit]

Mawer has lived in Rome since 1977, teaching biology at St. George's British International School in Rome. He is married and has two children.[1]


  • Chimera (1989)
  • A Place in Italy (1992) (Nonfiction)
  • The Bitter Cross (1992)
  • A Jealous God (1996)
  • Mendel's Dwarf (1997)
  • The Gospel of Judas (2000)
  • The Fall (2003)
  • Swimming to Ithaca (2006)
  • Gregor Mendel: Planting the Seeds of Genetics (2006) (Nonfiction)
  • The Glass Room (2009)
  • The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, published in the United States by Other Press as Trapeze (2012)
  • Tightrope (2015)
  • Prague Spring (2018)

Awards and honors[edit]


  1. ^ a b "The Glass Room: Author Biography". The Man Booker Prize. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  2. ^ Prose, Francine (22 March 1998). "Get Out the Chromosomal Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  3. ^ Smith, Wendy (11 June 2012). "'Trapeze,' by Simon Mawer". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Man Booker shortlist is announced". BBC News. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
  5. ^ "Booker rivals clash again on Walter Scott prize shortlist", The Guardian, 2 Apr 2010
  6. ^ "The winner of the 2016 Walter Scott Prize is announced!". Walter Scott Prize. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.

External links[edit]