Kit de Waal was born in Birmingham to an Irish mother, who was a foster carer and a Caribbean father. She worked for fifteen years in criminal and family law, was a magistrate for several years and sits on adoption panels. She used to advise Social Services on the care of foster children, and has written training manuals on adoption and foster care. Her writing has received numerous awards including the Bridport Flash Fiction Prize 2014 and 2015 and the SI Leeds Literary Reader’s Choice Prize 2014. Her first novel, My Name is Leon, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award in 2016. Her second novel, The Trick to Time will be published by Penguin Random House in March 2018.
I’m absolutely delighted to be one of the judges of The Orwell Prize for 2017. It’s such a privilege to read such outstanding books that illuminate a life, a country, an issue. It’s never been more important to read and understand the world around us and to stay informed.