The 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival is delighted to welcome author Katharine Norbury.

FGLF 2018 Participant - Author Katharine Norbury

Katharine Norbury is an author, audio-book reader and regular contributor to the guardian. She also trained as a film editor with the BBC and has worked extensively in film and television drama.

She spent 20 years in the TV industry as a script-editor before writing her own first book The Fish Ladder: a Journey Upstream (2015) which combines travelogue, memoir and a celebration of the natural world.

The book, which was published to great critical acclaim in 2015, explores a particularly turbulent time in Norbury’s life when, in her mid-40s, she was diagnosed with breast cancer shortly after suffering a miscarriage, and then, two weeks after her bilateral mastectomies, received a letter from her birth mother (their first ever correspondence – Katharine Norbury was adopted as a baby) saying “she didn’t want anything to do with me”.

FGLF 2018 Participant Book The Fish Ladder A Journey Upstream

“I was writing it [… Fish Ladder] as a record of the long summer holiday spent with my daughter, Evie. I intended it to be a handmade book, bound with twine and covered in leaves and bits of shell and things that we’d found together. when I was diagnosed with cancer it changed what I was writing. I came to realise that the book had overflowed its boundaries. It had become something that might have a more public voice, because much of the ground that it covered was common ground.”Katharine Norbury

The Fish Ladder: a Journey Upstream was Shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize 2016, Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2015, awarded the Telegraph Best Book of the Year 2015 and the Observer Rising Star 2015.

“There is much to learn from The Fish Ladder about how the memoir can tell a story as well as be a meditation; how language can be both profound and sensuous. It’s an unsentimental but extraordinary exploration of how we use narrative to understand our place in the world” –  Amit Chaudhuri

The Fish Ladder: a Journey Upstream is now being developed into a feature film
for which Katharine is writing the screenplay.

Katharine is currently working on an anthology of women’s writing about nature in the archipelago of Britain and Ireland and a second work of creative non-fiction about the idea of home.

She lives in London with her family


Learn More About Katharine Norbury