Stephanie Merritt

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Stephanie Merritt at the 2016 Hay Festival

Stephanie Jane Merritt (born 1974 in Surrey[1]) is an English critic and feature writer who has contributed to various publications including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, the New Statesman, New Humanist and Die Welt. She was Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer from 1998 to 2005 and currently writes for The Observer and The Guardian, in addition to writing novels.[2][3]

Merritt read English at Queens' College, and graduated from Cambridge University in 1996.[3]

Merritt's first novel Gaveston (Faber & Faber) won a Betty Trask Award from the Society of Authors in 2002. Her second novel was Real (2005), about a struggling young playwright, for which she was also commissioned to write the screenplay.[3] In 2010, Heresy was published, her first novel in the series of historical fiction thrillers featuring Giordano Bruno, under the pseudonym S. J. Parris.[4][5] It was followed by Prophecy (2011) Sacrilege (2012), Treachery (2014),[6] Conspiracy (2016) and Execution (2020).

She has also written a memoir, The Devil Within, published by Vermilion in 2008 and shortlisted for the Mind Book Award, which discusses her experiences living with depression.[7][8]

Merritt has appeared regularly as a critic and panellist on BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 4 Extra, has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award and the Orange New Writing Award as well as the Perrier Award, and is a regular interviewer and author at literary festivals, as well as the National Theatre. During 2007 and 2008 she curated the Talks and Debates programme on issues in contemporary arts and politics at London's Soho Theatre.[9]


  • Gaveston (2002)
  • Real (2005)
  • The Devil Within (2009)
Giordano Bruno Series
  • The Academy of Secrets (2020) (Prequel, Kindle)
  • Heresy (2010)
  • Prophecy (2011)
  • Sacrilege (2012)
  • Treachery (2014)
  • Conspiracy (2016)
  • Execution (2020)


  1. ^ Faber and Faber: author profile: Stephanie Merritt
  2. ^ The Guardian: profile Stephanie Merritt
  3. ^ a b c "Stephanie Merritt". Newsnight review. BBC News. 20 October 2005. External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ The Washington Post: book review: Heresy, 27 February 2010.
  5. ^ Seattle Pi: critical book review: Heresy, 6 June 2011.
  6. ^ Trachery cover art and synopsis Archived 4 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine, 3 October 2013.
  7. ^ Stephanie Merritt, The Devil Within: A Memoir of Depression (2009)
  8. ^ The Guardian: Stephanie Merritt, My time in therapy, 7 March 2009.
  9. ^ Curtis Brown: author profile: Stephanie Merritt, UK.

External links[edit]