Helen Smith took her BA part-time whilst working in sports administration.  She then studied full-time, taking an MA in Studies in Fiction and a PhD at UEA.  Her doctoral thesis examined the influence of Edward Garnett, the publisher’s reader, editor and critic on early twentieth century fiction.  This focussed on Garnett's relationships with Joseph Conrad, D H Lawrence and Sean O’Faolain.  Her research interests are in Life Writing, literary Modernism and late nineteenth century fiction, author/publisher relations and nineteenth and early twentieth century Russian fiction.  An Uncommon Reader: A Life of Edward Garnett, (2017, Jonathan Cape and Farrar, Straus & Giroux) her biography of Edward Garnett, was the joint winner of the Biographer's Club Prize and short listed for the Simply Foxed First Biography Prize.  The book was also the subject of a RSL/Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction.

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