In 1986, at age 30, Lott graduated with a degree in history and politics from the London School of Economics.
In the late 1980s, Lott briefly worked as the editor of City Limits, a magazine based in London. Lott was a TV producer and a Sunday magazine featured writer.
In 1996, Lott's first book, a memoir, The Scent of Dried Roses, was published and won the PEN/Ackerley Prize for autobiography. It is now published as a Penguin Modern Classic. His next work, and first novel, White City Blue, was published in 1999 and won that year's Whitbread Award for Best First Novel.
He was shortlisted in the Best Novel category of the 2002 Whitbread Awards and the Encore Awards for best second novel for his work Rumours of a Hurricane. He has since published The Love Secrets of Don Juan, The Seymour Tapes and Fearless, a young adult novel for Walker Books, which was shortlisted for the Guardian Children's Fiction prize. He has also featured prominently in the literary magazine Granta, appearing in its 21st anniversary edition as having authored one of the most significant pieces published in the previous 21 years.
He is a prolific travel journalist, and an occasional op-ed writer for the Independent on Sunday. He teaches the Writing a Novel six-month course at the Faber Academy in London.
- Birch, Carol (27 June 2015). "The Last Summer of the Water Strider by Tim Lott – a boy comes of age in the 70s". The Guardian. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- Montgomery, Hugh (January 2, 2011). "How We Met:Peter Gordon & Tim Lott". independent.co.uk. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- Official website, archived 5 May 2013
- Guardian newspaper articles by Tim Lott
- Independent newspaper articles by Tim Lott
- Aeon magazine articles by Tim Lott
- "Simpatico", The Sunday Times, 1 February 2009 (online text)
- Tim Lott on Twitter
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