Richard Beard’s six novels include Lazarus is Dead, Dry Bones and Damascus, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. In the UK he has been shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award and longlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award. His latest novel Acts of the Assassins was shortlisted for the Goldsmiths Prize and he is the author of four books of narrative non-fiction.
His 2017 memoir The Day That Went Missing won the 2018 PEN/Ackerley Award for literary autobiography, and was shortlisted for the Folio Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. In the USA the book was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Formerly Director of The National Academy of Writing in London, he has been a Visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo and a Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. In 2017 he was a juror for Canada’s Scotiabank Giller Prize and in 2019 is a judge for the BBC National Short Story Award.
Beard is also an occasional contributor to the Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, The Times, The Financial Times, Prospect and The Nightwatchman.
He studied at Cambridge, at the Open University, and with Malcolm Bradbury on the Creative Writing MA at the University of East Anglia. He has worked as a P.E. teacher, as Secretary to Mathilda, Duchess of Argyll, and as an employee of the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris. In the Mendip Hills Richard Beard looked after Brookleaze, a house owned by the Royal Society of Literature, and lived for three years in Japan as Professor of British Studies at the University of Tokyo.
He is one of several opening batsmen for the Authors XI Cricket Club.