Kit de Waal, born to an Irish mother and Caribbean father, was brought up among the Irish community of Birmingham in the ‘60s and ‘70s.
Her debut novel My Name Is Leon was an international bestseller, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year Award for 2017.
At Chester Literature Festival she will discuss her memoir Without Warning and Only Sometimes with actor Yusra Warsama (Our Girl) about her extraordinary life, career and latest works.
Her second novel, The Trick to Time, was longlisted for the Women’s Prize and her young adult novel Becoming Dinah was shortlisted for the Carnegie CLIP Award 2020. She also crowdfunded and edited an anthology of working-class memoir, Common People, which was published in 2018. Kit founded the Big Book Weekend, a free digital literary festival and was named the FutureBook Person of the Year in 2019. Her latest publication, Supporting Cast, is a collection of short stories.