London Lives: Fiona Mozley & Francis Spufford

Two prize-winning novelists discuss their second novels with Sam Leith, Literary Editor of The Spectator

Francis Spufford and Fiona Mozley have both pulled off a difficult feat: publishing successful second novels to follow their prize-winning first novels. Francis’s Light Perpetual describes the death of five children from a German rocket landing in London in 1944. Or does it? Fiona Mozley’s Hot Stew introduces us to prostitutes facing the cleaning-up of Soho seventy-odd years later. Francis and Fiona will be in conversation with Sam Leith, Literary Editor of The Spectator.

“Ambitious, clever, brilliant and very funny . . . If Elmet announced the arrival of a bright new voice in British literature, Hot Stew confirms Mozley as a writer of extraordinary empathic gifts.”

the observer – hot stew, fiona mozley

“Dazzling … [Spufford is] one of the finest prose stylists of his generation. If his stories grip, his sentences practically glow.”

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst ― The Times

Fiona Mozley

Fiona Mozley grew up in York and went to King’s College, Cambridge, after which she lived in Buenos Aires and London. She is studying for a PhD in medieval history. Her first novel Elmet won a Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari Prize. It was also shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017 and the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize and longlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the Dublin Literary Award and the International Dylan Thomas Prize. In 2018 Fiona Mozley was shortlisted for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award.

Francis Spufford

Francis Spufford FRSL is an English author and teacher of writing whose career has seen him shift gradually from non-fiction to fiction. His first novel Golden Hill received critical acclaim and numerous prizes including the Costa Book Award for a first novel, the Desmond Elliott Prize and the Ondaatje Prize.

Sam Leith

Sam Leith is an English author, journalist and literary editor of The Spectator. After an education at Eton and Magdalen College, Oxford, Leith worked at the revived satirical magazine Punch, before moving to the Daily Mail and The Daily Telegraph, where he served as literary editor until 2008