Emily Barr The One Memory of Flora Banks

Published internationally by Penguin
Sold into 25 languages

Hello, and welcome to my website.

I started out working as a journalist in London, but always hankered after a quiet room and a book to write. I managed, somehow, to get commissioned to go travelling for a year, and came home with the beginnings of a novel set in the world of backpackers in Asia. This became BACKPACK, a thriller which won the WH Smith New Talent Award, and I have since written eleven more novels published in the UK and around the world.

THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS, my first novel for young adults, is now out in the UK, the US, and many other territories. The book tells the story of Flora, a seventeen year old with anterograde amnesia who has to re-remember her life several times each day. Flora kisses a boy on a beach in Penzance and follows his trail to Svalbard, convinced that he holds the key to her regaining her memory. She remembers things by writing them on her hand, and in notebooks, and anywhere she can think of. As her journey goes on, she begins to realise that many things in her life are not what they seem.

My second YA novel, THE TRUTH AND LIES OF ELLA BLACK, will be published in January 2018.

I live in Cornwall with my partner Craig and our children.

Ten things you might not know about me:

  • 1: My dad is a professor of film studies, and I have vivid memories of lying in bed at night as a small child, listening to the clatter of his typewriter as he wrote his books. I’m sure that had some sort of effect, even if it just put ‘writing a book’ in my head as a thing it was possible to do.
  • 2: My mum is a vicar.
  • 3: We have two baby rabbits, Ziggy and Snape, both girls. They reduce everyone in the house to saying things like ‘ickle fluffy bunnikins’ because they are gorgeous adorable bundles of loveliness.
  • 4: I can cure hiccups. My own or other people's, as long as they're prepared to concentrate.
  • 5: I studied History of Art at university because I thought it would be nice, and always try to visit my favourite paintings when I’m in London. However, I spent most of my degree course doing student journalism.
  • 6: I hate driving but love travelling by train, except when they don’t work. I do, however, hate the fact that at Truro station the announcement says: ‘The next train to depart from platform 1, for the 8.20 service to Falmouth’. However many times I ask Great Western Railways to stop that, it never changes.
  • 7: My favourite writers are Margaret Atwood, Daphne du Maurier and Michel Faber. There are many more, but those three are at the top right now.
  • 8: I have a lifelong obsession with the music of Leonard Cohen. He smiled at me in 2010, which was nice.
  • 9: My partner Craig writes children’s books. We consult each other constantly about everything we write, and much coffee is consumed. When we’re done with writing we do Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred excercise DVD. No one has ever witnessed this and no one ever will.
  • 10: A big chunk of THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS was written in a B&B in Torquay over the course of a single weekend. It was then edited and rewritten an enormous amount. As I always say to my writing students, when you think a book's finished, that's generally just the beginning.

Emily's Books