"I knew that Kitty and I felt just the same - only, of course, about different things. I should have remembered this, later..." (Tipping the Velvet)
Sarah Waters biography and information
Sarah's first novel, Tipping the Velvet, won a 1999 Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Mail on Sunday / John Llewelyn Rhys Prize. She was inspired to write it while working on her PhD thesis on lesbian historical fiction that underlined the inadequacies and potential of the contemporary lesbian historical genre. As part of her research, she read a fair amount of nineteenth-century pornography and dictionaries of slang and vulgar words: 'tipping the velvet' is Victorian slang for cunnilingus.
Her third novel, Fingersmith, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize 2002 and for the Man Booker Prize 2002. It won the CWA Historical Dagger prize for historical crime fiction and was picked more than any other novel as a Book of the Year 2002.
Sarah was for a time an associate lecturer for the Open University and has also tutored on Creative Writing programmes, but is now a full-time fiction writer living in London. In 2003 she was nominated by Granta magazine as one of twenty 'Best of Young British Novelists'. The Paying Guests was published in autumn 2014.
Book and writing awards
Lambda Literary Award 2007 (The Night Watch);British Book Awards Author of the Year 2002 (Fingersmith); Times Novelist of the Year 2000; Somerset Maugham Award 2000 (Affinity); Betty Trask Award 1999 (Tipping the Velvet)