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Tim Dowling

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Tim Dowling
Dowling playing the banjo in the band Police Dog Hogan
Robert Timothy Dowling[1]

June 1963[2]
Known forWriting

Robert Timothy Dowling (/ˈdlɪŋ/; born June 1963) is an American journalist and author who writes a weekly column in The Guardian about his life with his family in London.



Dowling worked in data entry for a films database before he became a freelance journalist, first working for GQ, then women's magazines and the Independent on Sunday.[3] He is a columnist for The Guardian and has a weekly column in the paper's Saturday magazine, Weekend. His column replaced Jon Ronson's in 2007. He writes observational columns, often about his wife.[4] Sam Leith of The Guardian noted that "Dowling's a very fresh and smart writer, as he needs to be. Stories about machete massacres or ebola pandemics pretty much write themselves: writing about nothing much, week in, week out, is the real test."[5] Dowling also worked as a cartoonist for a short time.[6]

Dowling's books include a 2001 book about the inventor of the disposable razor, King Camp Gillette,[7] Suspicious Packages and Extendable Arms, a collection of his writing from The Guardian, and The Giles Wareing Haters' Club, his 2007 debut novel concerning a journalist Googling himself (narcissurfing[8]) who finds an online club of people who hate him, inspired by Dowling searching for his name online.[9] Giles Wareing was reviewed by TLS.[10] Metro said it is "a fine comedy of domestic triviality".[11]

Dowling said of his 2014 book How to Be a Husband: "It got quite a bit of publicity in the U.K. when it came out and [my wife] wasn't prepared for all that."[12] Tom Hodgkinson writing in The Spectator called this book "a rare delight".[13] Leith in The Guardian said there is "pleasure and treasure here."[5] David Evans wrote in The Independent: "It's a rare thing to be able to write about life as a husband and father in such a way as to elicit nods of recognition among those who are neither of those things; Dowling does it with panache."[14]

Published work

  • Inventor of the Disposable Culture: King Camp Gillette 1855–1932 (Faber & Faber, 2001, ISBN 978-0571208104)
  • Not the Archer prison diary (Ebury Press, 2002, ISBN 0091892392
  • Suspicious Packages & Extendable Arms (Guardian Newspapers Ltd, 2007, ISBN 0-85265-087-6)
  • The Giles Wareing Haters' Club (Picador, 2008, ISBN 0-330-44617-7)
  • How to Be a Husband (Fourth Estate, 2014, ISBN 978-0-00-752766-3)
  • Dad You Suck (Fourth Estate, 2017, ISBN 978-0-00-752769-4)
  • How To Be Happy All The Time: The Unexpected Joys of Being A Cynic (Everything Bad is Good for You Book 2)(Hodder & Stoughton, 2019,ISBN 978-1-52-934500-1 )

Personal life


Dowling was born in Connecticut. His mother was a schoolteacher, his father was a dentist, and he has a brother and two sisters.[3] He moved to the UK from New York at the age of 27 and currently lives in London with his wife Sophie de Brandt[15][16] and their three sons.[17] He enjoys skiing with his sons, having learned to ski as a child in the US.[18]

Dowling has played banjo (which his wife bought for his birthday) in the band Police Dog Hogan[19][20] since 2009, and he writes self-deprecatingly about their festival gigs, including Glastonbury, in his column.[21][22][23]


  1. ^ "How to be a Husband web sampler". Harper Collins. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  2. ^ "Robert Timothy Dowling". Companies House. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Ridout, Annie (December 26, 2016). "Tim Dowling on fatherhood, marriage and freelancing". The Early Hour. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  4. ^ Muller-Heyndyk, Rachel (March 24, 2017). "Interview: The Guardian columnist, Tim Dowling". Xcity Plus. City University. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Leith, Sam (June 12, 2014). "How to Be a Husband review – Tim Dowling's take on marriage". The Guardian. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Sauer, Patrick (February 20, 2015). "Deciphering Daddy: A Q&A with Tim Dowling, Author of How to Be a Husband". Signature. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  7. ^ Dowling, Tim (May 10, 2001). "Genius at the cutting edge". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  8. ^ Courtney, Kevin (February 19, 2008). "ConText: NNarcissurfing". Irish Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  9. ^ Dowling, Tim (April 14, 2007). "Comedy of manners". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
  10. ^ Clark, Alex (July 6, 2007). "The Giles Wareing Haters' Club". Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  11. ^ "The Giles Wareing Haters' Club". Metro. May 31, 2007. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  12. ^ Hunter, Jennifer (March 13, 2015). "Guardian columnist Tim Dowling on how to be a husband". Toronto Star. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  13. ^ Hodgkinson, Thomas W. (July 12, 2014). "A guide to marriage, moving and fatherhood – and also not a bad tool with which to beat your solicitor to death". The Spectator. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  14. ^ Evans, David (May 30, 2015). "Paperback book reviews: The Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran, Gut by Giulia Enders, How to be a Husband by Tim Dowling, The Mongol Empire by John Man". The Independent. Archived from the original on 2022-05-07. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  15. ^ Sawyer, Miranda (October 11, 2014). "5 Live Daily; Woman's Hour; Today – radio review". The Guardian. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  16. ^ "Tim Dowling and his wife Sophie de Brandt go to war". Woman's Hour. BBC Radio 4. October 9, 2014. Retrieved June 19, 2017.
  17. ^ Dowling, Tim (November 15, 2008). "'I have known my wife for many years, and the children are right to be afraid'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved January 1, 2009.
  18. ^ Morris, Hugh (September 24, 2013). "Tim Dowling: On the chairlift with..." The Telegraph. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  19. ^ Police Dog Hogan
  20. ^ Hughes, Tim (January 23, 2014). "Top dogs find middle ground – interview with Police Dog Hogan". York Press. Retrieved June 18, 2017.
  21. ^ Dowling, Tim (June 25, 2015). "You're never too old for Glastonbury". Radio Times. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  22. ^ Hobbs, Mary Anne (June 20, 2015). "Tim Dowling: The Joy Of Playing In A Part-Time Band". BBC 6 Music. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  23. ^ Smith Hughes, Harriet (February 15, 2013). "Middle-Aged-Man-Band?". Cherwell. Retrieved June 20, 2017.