About

I’ve been a full-time working writer for over twenty-five years now, but I realise this is no excuse for the mountains of stuff I seem to have produced. I can only apologise, and say that, although you wouldn’t think so, I do sometimes stop writing, have a cup of tea, and re-organise the dog treats or something. There is a common misconception that I was only ever interested in punctuation. I try not to be hurt by this. But what really interests me in life is how other people think, which is why the dramatic monologue is probably my favourite form. On this website you will find a monologue written from the point of view of an Edible Dormouse, who has important Cold War espionage duties to carry out from his HQ the loft of a house in the Amersham area. Could a person only interested in punctuation have written this? I truly think not.

Doris Lessing once said at a public talk that she had made one big mistake as a writer – letting the cat out of the bag that she enjoyed writing. The people who get respect, she said, are those who struggle to write, for whom the whole business if torture. After she had said this, I realised I was doomed. It’s so obvious that I enjoy what I do. But then Doris Lessing went and won the Nobel Prize, didn’t she? So maybe she was wrong, after all.

Lynne Truss biography:

  • Born 1955, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England
  • Home until age 18: Petersham, Surrey
  • One sister, Kay (d 2000)
  • Father d 1991

Schools:

  • The Petersham Russell Infants’ School, Petersham 1960-63
  • The Orchard Junior School, Petersham 1963-66
  • Tiffin Girls’ Grammar School, Kingston upon Thames 1966-73
  • 9 O levels (Biology, English Language, English Literature, French, Geography, History, Latin, Maths, Religious Knowledge)
  • 3 A levels (English, History, Religious Knowledge)
  • Gamble Prize for Literature

University:

  • University College London 1974-77
  • BA Hons (First Class) English Language and Literature
  • Awarded Morley Medal, Rosa Morrison Scholarship and George Smith Prize
  • Courtauld Institute, Graduate Diploma course 2011-12

Work:

  • 1973-74 University of London Library, Senate House, library assistant
  • 1977-78 Radio Times, sub-editor, programme pages
  • 1978-86 Times Higher Education Supplement, deputy literary editor
  • 1986-90 The Listener, literary editor

Freelance writing:

  • 1978-86 Times Educational Supplement, arts and books reviewing
  • 1982-86 The Times, arts profiles
  • 1988-91 The Listener, column called “Margins”
  • 1990-91 The Independent on Sunday, arts and books coverage
  • 1991-97 The Times, television critic, “Single Life” columnist, “Logged Off” columnist, and Op Ed columnist
  • 1994-97 Woman’s Journal, columnist (Columnist of the Year, 1996)
  • 1996-2000, The Times, sports columnist (shortlisted for Sports Writer of the Year, 1997)

Other regular writing:

  • Sunday Telegraph, “Seven”, weekly column
  • Saga, monthly column

Books:

Stories/chapters in books:

  • Telling Stories (BBC)
  • Femmes de Siecle (Chatto)
  • Perfect Pitch (Headline)
  • Woman's Hour Book of Short Stories 3 (BBC)
  • Asham Short Stories (Serpents Tail)
  • Secrets of the Press (Penguin Press)
  • Days of Wine and Roses (Transworld)
  • Fabulous Brighton (Shrew Press)
  • Don’t Know a Good Thing (Bloomsbury)
  • The Sunday Night Book Club (Arrow)
  • Fur Babies (Quadrille)
  • Midsummer Nights (Quercus/Glyndebourne), Modern Delight (Faber)

Stage:

Other stage productions:

  • Ellen Terry’s Lectures on Shakespeare, performed by Eileen
  • A rehearsed reading of the comic play(s) by Virginia Woolf, in a new adaptation. (Charleston Festival, May 2009)
  • Atkins for the Charleston Festival, May 2011 (my idea)

Critical introductions:

Broadcasting:

See Broadcast page

Appearances:

  • Pick of the Week
  • Fourth Column
  • Front Row
  • Saturday Review
  • Quote....Unquote
  • The Write Stuff
  • Wordly Wise
  • Front Row
  • Word of Mouth
  • The News Quiz
  • Cross Question
  • Woman's Hour
  • Late Tackle
  • Books and Co
  • Late Night Live
  • Who Goes There?
  • Excess Baggage
  • Whispers
  • Saturday Live
  • Loose Ends
  • Start the Week
  • Today
  • Great Lives
  • The Now Show
  • The Essay
  • A Good Read
  • The Verb
  • University Challenge
  • Only Connect

Honours:

  • Fellowship of University College London, 2004
  • Honorary degree, University of Brighton, 2005
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Literature, 2005
  • Honorary degree, Open University, 2006
  • Honorary degree, New York School of Visual Arts, 2006

Directorships etc:

  • Patron of Julia Margaret Cameron Trust, Isle of Wight
  • Patron of Asham Trust, East Sussex
  • Patron of Women's Refuge Project, Brighton

Personal:

  • One home in Sussex (with dogs); one home in Bloomsbury
  • Cats Buster and Paddy, both born in 1986 died 2006-7 and are much missed
  • Member of Groucho Club
  • Friend for Life of Terrence Higgins Trust
  • Trusty assistant named Gavin