Marina Warner was brought up in Egypt, Belgium, and Cambridge, England. She has been a writer since she was young, specialising in mythology and fairy tales, with an emphasis on the part women play in them. In 1994 she gave the BBC Reith Lectures on the theme of Six Myths of Our Time. Her books include Phantasmagoria: Spirit Visions, Metaphors, and Media (2006), and Stranger Magic Charmed States and The Arabian Nights (2011). She also writes fiction: The Lost Father (l988), was shortlisted for the Booker prize, and in 2000, The Leto Bundle (2000) was longlisted.
She is Professor of English and Creative Writing at Birkbeck College, University of London, a Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, and a Professorial Research Fellow at SOAS, 2014-2017. Her latest book is Once Upon a Time: A Short History of Fairy Tale (OUP, 2014). A collection of short stories Fly Away Home will be published by Salt in autumn 2015. She was Chair of the Man Booker International Prize for 2015, and is convening a series of seminars, ‘Orienting Fiction’, at All Souls, Oxford in Trinity Term, 2015, and is writing a memoir-cum-novel set in Cairo in the Fifties. She was awarded the Holberg Prize in the humanities in 2015.