Simon Mawer - biography
Born: 1948, in England
First publication: Chimera, 1989 Hamish Hamilton.
There are four of us: my wife Connie, to whom I owe everything ...and
my children Matthew and Julia, who also have put up with a great deal...
My father, like his father before him, served in the Royal Air Force. We lived the nomadic life of a typical military family, spending, amongst various moves in England, three years in Cyprus during the EOKA period and a total of five years in Malta. These experiences planted in me a love of the Mediterranean world which has lasted my whole life. They also gave me a taste for exile which I have never lost. When people ask me where I come from I am still unable to reply. I have lived in Italy for more than three decades, but Italy is not home. Home is where the mind is, perhaps.
From the age of eight I was educated in boarding schools, an experience I loathed at first but later came to enjoy. Above all it forced upon me the need to preserve a secret, interior world in a society where privacy was at a premium, training that was surely significant in the development of a writer.
After university I spent three years teaching biology in the Channel Islands, two years in Scotland, and two in Malta, before moving to Rome where I have lived ever since. Teaching and family took up much time, and it wasn't until my fortieth year that my first novel, Chimera, was sold, to Hamish Hamilton.
After over thirty years teaching at St George's
British International School in Rome I went for full time writing in
2010, which is what I am doing now.