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About Sara Banerji

Sara Banerji 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. She is descended from the family of Henry Fielding, the 18th century author.

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.

Her first novel, ‘Cobwebwalking’, was published in 1986. She now lives in Oxford where she continues to write, paint and make her unique sculptures, and cultivate her prolific allotment.

Up to July 2011 Sara has published twelve novels. Her publishers have included Victor Gollancz, Transworld and Harper Collins, and her books have appeared in hardback and paperback editions. Her most recent novels are published on Kindle. Six of her novels have now been published as EBooks by Bloomsbury and will be out in paperback in September 2012.

She 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 book was nominated for the IMPAC award.

She teaches creative writing at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and has also taught at many other venues including the Cheltenham Literature Festival and on a Greek island. Several of her students have had their novels published by mainstream publishers, their plays performed on the professional stage or have won literary prizes. She and her students put on several public literary events for Oxfringe each year and together have created several collections of stories, the most recent being three books of short stories set in and around Oxford.

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