Life and work
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. The New York Times described it as a "thematically ambitious and witty novel". 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". 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.
- 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
- 1990 McKitterick Prize for first novels, Chimera
- 2003 Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature, The Fall
- 2003 Man Booker Prize, longlist, The Fall
- 2009 Man Booker Prize, shortlist, The Glass Room
- 2010 Walter Scott Prize, shortlist, The Glass Room
- 2016 Walter Scott Prize, winner, Tightrope
- "The Glass Room: Author Biography". The Man Booker Prize. Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Prose, Francine (22 March 1998). "Get Out the Chromosomal Map". The New York Times. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- Smith, Wendy (11 June 2012). "'Trapeze,' by Simon Mawer". The Washington Post. Retrieved 15 July 2012.
- "Man Booker shortlist is announced". BBC News. 8 September 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2009.
- "Booker rivals clash again on Walter Scott prize shortlist", The Guardian, 2 Apr 2010
- "The winner of the 2016 Walter Scott Prize is announced!". Walter Scott Prize. 18 June 2016. Retrieved 20 June 2016.
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