About

About Sara Banerji

 

Sara Banerji is an award-winning and well-established figure in the literary world. As well as writing her own work, she teaches creative writing, hosts writers’ discussion groups – and launched the highly successful monthly ‘SparkOxford’ storytelling series. Sara exhibits her paintings and sculptures in Oxford and has regularly featured in Oxford’s Artsweeks.

Sara’s story

Sara is the daughter of Anita Mostyn, a novelist who wrote in the 1950’s under the pen name Anne Mary Feilding, and of Sir Basil Mostyn, Bart.  A descendant of the same family as 18th century “father of the novel form”, Henry Fielding.

Born in England and evacuated to various large and crumbling country mansions during the war, Sara spent the later part of her childhood in a mud rondavel in what was then Southern Rhodesia, where her father grew tobacco. She later hitchhiked round Europe, worked as an au pair and went to art school in Austria.

While working in a coffee bar in Oxford, Sara met her husband-to-be, a law undergraduate from India. She lived for seventeen years with her husband and three daughters on tea plantations in the hills of South India and in Assam in the North East. She and her husband also ran a dairy and poultry farm in her husband’s ancestral village in West Bengal. During these years she held exhibitions of her oil paintings, rode as a jockey, and started writing novels.

Returning to England, broke because of Indian currency restrictions, she bought ponies and gave riding lessons, cooked Indian feasts for people’s dinner parties, and set up a gardening business. During this period she learnt Transcendental Meditation and yogic flying, which she has practised ever since.

Sara’s writing

Sara’s first novel, Cobwebwalking, was published in 1986. Since then, she has published over a dozen novels. Her publishers have included Victor Gollancz, Transita, Harper Collins, and Bloomsbury. Her books have been produced in hardback, paperback and e-book editions.

Sara’s voice is described by critics as ‘original and highly imaginative’ ‘entertaining’, ‘bold’, ‘punchy’, ‘exciting’, ‘gripping, fluid and confident’. She is widely acclaimed as ‘a gifted storyteller’.

Sara has won the Arts Council of England award, The Author’s Foundation award, the Write Out Loud award, was long-listed for the Booker prize and her last novel was nominated for the IMPAC award.

Read more about Sara Banerji in this article