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.