Awardwinning writer Carol Birch was among six people distinguished in their field who have been awarded honorary degrees at the July graduation ceremonies.
Carol Birch is the author of eleven novels. In 1988, she won the 1988 David Higham Award for the Best First Novel of the Year for Life in the Palace, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize with The Fog Line in 1992, and she was long-listed for the 2003 Booker Prize for Turn Again Home. Scapegallows won the East Anglian Book of the Year Award 2008 and was shortlisted for the New Angle Prize for Literature in 2009.
Her best known book, Jamrach’s Menagerie was longlisted for the Orange Prize 2011, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Galaxy Book Prize in 2011, and was chosen for the Richard and Judy/W.H.Smith Book Club.
The novel is set in the mid-19th century when the whaling industry went into decline, and tells the story, in his own words, of a fatherless boy from Bermondsey who gets a job with an importer of wild animals and joins an expedition to south-east Asia on which the sailors embark hoping to capture a dragon.
She also reviews fiction for the Guardian, the Independent and the Times Literary Supplement.