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Biography

Richard T. Kelly is Lecturer in Creative Writing & Professional Writing. He is the author of three novels published by Faber and Faber: Crusaders (2008, ‘a magnificent state-of-the-nation epic’ Financial Times); The Possessions of Doctor Forrest (2011, ‘a horror novel of the most enjoyably reckless stripe’ Times Literary Supplement); and The Knives (2016, 'the best novel about modern politics I have read in years' Observer). His fourth novel, The Black Eden, is forthcoming from Faber.

He is also the author of a number of non-fiction books on diverse subjects; a critic and journalist who has edited, introduced and contributed to many published volumes; and a screenwriter (Eclipse, his first screenplay for television, was broadcast by Channel 4 in 2010.) He has written for theatre, and presented documentary films for television. He has further held senior positions in book publishing, as an editor at Faber and Faber and at the Hutchinson imprint of Penguin Random House, and has worked as a consultant to the literary agency Tibor Jones.

Currently he is a contributing editor to Esquire magazine and to the scholarly journal Critical Quarterly.

Image courtesy of Caroline O'Dwyer

Areas of expertise

Richard has published research across a wide range of subject areas. His special interests include:

  • social realism in fiction and the ‘state of the nation’ novel;
  • creative non-fiction and the ‘non-fiction novel’;
  • ‘lost books’ and noteworthy neglected twentieth-century fiction;
  • Modernism in the arts, its afterlife and influence;
  • the Gothic style across diverse art forms and histories;
  • social realism and visual style in cinema and television,
  • the art of stage and screen acting;
  • politics, politicians and government in fiction;
  • sport and sportspeople in creative non-fiction;
  • writings in response to 'Brexit' circa 2016;
  • Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes

Publications

Novels

The Knives: (Faber, 2016), 'The best political novel since [Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty.]' Times. 'The best novel about modern politics I have read in years.' Observer. A ‘Book of the Year’ selection in the Guardian and New Statesman.

The Possessions of Doctor Forrest (Faber, 2011): ‘A horror novel of the most enjoyably reckless stripe.’ TLS. ‘Has the robust narrative drive of genre fiction but also the thoughtfulness and stylistic flair of good literary fiction.’ Independent

Crusaders (Faber, 2008): ‘A magnificent state-of-the-nation epic.’ Financial Times. ‘I can’t remember a British debut that offers a more convincing portrait of so many different walks of life, or that paints its portrait of an era and a region with greater credibility.’ Sunday Times. ‘The great British novel of this decade.’ David Peace.

Non-fiction books

Keegan & Dalglish (Simon & Schuster 2017). Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2018

Our House, Your Home: The Past, Present & Future of Social Housing (New Writing North, 2014).

A Long Walk Home by Judith Tebbutt with Richard T. Kelly (Faber, 2013). A Sunday Times bestseller. Nominee, Autobiography of the Year, British Book Awards 2013. ‘Inspiring, vivid As gripping as any thriller.’ Daily Mail

Sean Penn: His Life and Times (Faber, 2005) ‘As honest, informative and engaging as you can imagine any book about Hollywood could be.’ Guardian.

The Name of this Book is Dogme 95 (Faber 2000) ‘Extremely illuminating...hilarious.’ Total Film. ‘Gonzo journalism in the spirit of Hunter Thompson.’ Independent on Sunday

Alan Clarke (Faber 1998). ‘A model of how to write film history.’ Independent

Books as Named Editor

Highballs for Breakfast: Wodehouse on Drinking (Hutchinson 2016). ‘Splendid.’ Times

Ten Bad Dates with De Niro: A Book of Alternative Movie Lists (Faber, 2007). Sunday Times ‘Showbusiness Book of the Year’ 2007. 

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