Born in London in 1963, Norfolk moved with his parents to Iraq in the following year. Evacuated following the Six Day War in 1967, he grew up in the West Country of England. While studying English and American Literature at Kings College, London, he began writing his first novel, “Lemprière’s Dictionary” which was published in 1991. His second, “The Pope’s Rhinoceros” (1996) was written while living in Chicago and his third “In the Shape of a Boar” (2001) on his return to Britain. His fourth novel, “John Saturnall’s Feast”, tells the story of a cook in seventeenth century England. It was published in September 2012. He is currently working on a novel about Elizabeth the First as a teenager and her only friend, a witch.
He is the winner of the Somerset Maugham Award and the Budapest Festival Prize for Literature and his work has been short-listed for the Impac Prize, the James Tait Black Memorial Award and the Wingate/Jewish Quarterly Prize for Literature. In 1993 he was listed as one of Granta magazine’s Twenty Best of Young British Writers.
Lawrence Norfolk’s journalism has appeared in newspapers and magazines throughout Europe and America. In the USA: The Washington Post, Esquire, GQ, Details Magazine and National Geographic Adventure. In Europe: The Times (London), The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian; in Germany, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Die Welt; in Denmark, Politiken; in Austria, NEWS magazine, Profil magazine; in Sweden, Göteborgs Posten; in France, Le Figaro. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio Four’s “Saturday Review” and “Front Row” and BBC Radio Three’s “Nightwaves”.
He lives in London with his wife and two sons.