Raffaella Barker

Raffaella Barker

Raffaella Barker was born in London in 1964 and moved to Norfolk when she was three. She spent her childhood in Norfolk sulking and refusing to get dressed, going everywhere in her nightie. Her house was always full of her parent's friends and family and from the age of six she was constantly running away from home with her siblings in a bid for attention. It was always her idea: "We usually took the dog, left the baby, but then invariably we ran back again a few hours later because in the melee at home no one had even noticed we were gone." The Norfolk landscape which provided her childhood self with a playground of infinite possibility would later feature as the backdrop and inspiration for her novels when she returned to Norfolk as an adult in 1992: "The adventures we had were all played out in the fields and woodland behind our house, and were the foundation of so much of what I love still today, in terms of storytelling, nature and the worlds that lie within the imagination." Raffaella is the oldest of the children which her father, the poet George Barker had by the novelist Elspeth Barker. But combined with his children from his previous marriage and affair, Raffaella felt her siblings were infinite - she recalls her dread of being asked how many brothers and sisters she had in french orals when she attended Norwich High School. After Norwich High School, Raffaella Barker moved to London where she did life modelling, film-editing and journalism. She landed a job on Harpers & Queen magazine and later freelanced as its motoring columnist. For 10 years she wrote a column for Country Life about her week. She has also written short stories for the radio and has been a regular contributor for the Sunday Times, the Sunday Telegraph, Harpers Bazaar and the Spectator. Her debut novel Come and Tell Me Some Lies was published in 1994, followed by The Hook, Hens Dancing, Summertime, Green Grass, the children's book Phosphorescence, A Perfect Life, Poppyland and From a Distance. Raffaella also teaches on the English Literature and Creative Writing BA at the University of East Anglia and the Guardian Novel Writing Masterclass.
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