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James Meek was born in London and grew up in Scotland. He lived in Russia and Ukraine in the 1990s and, since 1999, has lived in England.

His first novel, McFarlane Boils The Sea, was published in 1989. Since then he has published seven works of fiction: Last Orders (stories, 1992) Drivetime (a novel, 1995) The Museum Of Doubt (stories, 2000) The People’s Act of Love (a novel, 2005) We Are Now Beginning Our Descent (a novel, 2008) The Heart Broke In (a novel, 2012) and To Calais, In Ordinary Time (a novel, 2019).

People’s Act, which was published in thirty countries, was nominated for the Booker Prize and won the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje prize and the Scottish Arts Council book of the year prize. Descent won the 2008 Le Prince Maurice Prize. The Heart Broke In was shortlisted for the 2012 Costa Prize.

James Meek is a contributing editor to the London Review of Books.

He is the author of two essay collections, Dreams of Leaving and Remaining (2019) and Private Island (2014), which won the Orwell Prize.