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Joanna Cannon

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Joanna Cannon was born in a small Derbyshire town, at the very edge of the Peak District National Park. As an only child of an only child, a great number of her friends lived within the pages of a book, and she soon discovered what would become a life-long fascination with words, stories and character.

Jo left school at fifteen with one O-level and worked her way through many different jobs: barmaid, kennel maid, pizza delivery expert, and although these experiences may not have felt useful at the time, they gave her a breadth of understanding about people which would later become invaluable.

Genres: Mystery, Literary Fiction, General Fiction
Anthologies edited
Non fiction
Joanna Cannon recommends
Before the Fall (2014)
Juliet West
"My favourite Great War novel . . . Incredible writing."
The Last of Us (2016)
Rob Ewing
"A story about the strength and fragility of human nature. Rob Ewing's writing is powerful, compassionate and brilliant. I absolutely loved it."
The Night Visitor (2017)
Lucy Atkins
"Elegant, clever, beautifully written . . . Lucy Atkins is, quite frankly, a genius."
Tin Man (2017)
Sarah Winman
"It's exquisite. There are stories you just feel privileged to read. Sarah's writing breaks you and heals you, all in the same moment, and I haven't been so moved, and so in love with a book and its characters in a very long time."
Together (2017)
Julie Cohen
"Julie Cohen's writing is powerful, moving and truly beautiful."
The Upstairs Room (2017)
Kate Murray-Browne
"An incredible read. Clever, chilling, I couldn't put it down."
The Woman in the Window (2018)
A J Finn
"Amazing. What an elegant, beautifully written thriller. I loved Dr Fox from the word go, and the twists and turns were just exquisite. It's so rare to find a story so compelling, yet so gracefully told – the flair and class of Hitchcock on every page. It's quite a cliche, but I was genuinely walking around the house/answering the door/eating my meals with the book in my hand."
Sal (2018)
Mick Kitson
"Just *wonderful*. A breath of fresh air in a book. Sal is a story with incredible heart, told so beautifully and with such clarity and grace I can hardly believe it's a debut! I loved it."
Days of Wonder (2018)
Keith Stuart
"So powerful, yet incredibly gentle and poignant. Utterly and completely beautiful."
Take Nothing With You (2018)
Patrick Gale
"Safe in the arms of Patrick Gale's BEAUTIFUL writing again - I could weep with joy."
The House on Vesper Sands (2018)
Paraic O'Donnell
"Clever and funny and exquisitely disturbing, an utter joy."
The Pact We Made (2019)
Layla AlAmmar
"So cleverly crafted, it can't be a debut. But it is."
Things in Jars (2019)
Jess Kidd
"Jess Kidd's stories are so magical, she should be a genre all to herself ... Things in Jars is exquisite. Perfect storytelling."
After the End (2019)
Clare Mackintosh
"One of the most moving stories I have ever read. It's perfect."
The Most Difficult Thing (2019)
Charlotte Philby
"Dark and addictive and magnificent."
A Theatre for Dreamers (2020)
Polly Samson
"Such a lyrical, elegant and beautifully told story."
The Resident (2020)
David Jackson
"A mind-blowing, head-rattling, whirlwind of a thriller."
Girl A (2021)
Abigail Dean
"A work of utter genius."
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot (2021)
Marianne Cronin
"Full of wisdom and kindness. It is just the kind of book I adore."
One Last Time (2021)
Helga Flatland
"The most beautiful, elegant writing I've read in a long time. If you love Anne Tyler, you will adore this."
Magpie (2021)
Elizabeth Day
"The most mind-blowing book of the year."
The Impossible Truths of Love (2021)
Hannah Beckerman
"Powerful, beautiful, and exquisitely written."
Reptile Memoirs (2022)
Silje Ulstein
"A beautifully dark and twisty story with jaw-dropping twists and pin-point plotting."
Just Got Real (2022)
Jane Fallon
"Your writing makes the world a brighter place, [Jane Fallon]. Just Got Real is an absolute joy."
Paper Cup (2022)
Karen Campbell
"Paper Cup is very special indeed. Not only is it exquisitely written - and I mean catch-your-breath exquisite - the story is so real and told with such grace and compassion... Trust me (trust me), your world will be a better place for reading this story."
Under the Same Stars (2022)
Alexandra Heminsley
"It's beautifully written, with such heart, and yet also with such incredible elegance. Not only did it make me cry, it made me see the world in a different way."

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