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Novelist and former Guardian journalist Susie Steiner dies aged 51 |  Books


Novelist and former Guardian journalist Susie Steiner, best known for crime series Manon Bradshaw, has died aged 51.

A tweet posted to her account on Sunday said: “Susie passed away yesterday after being diagnosed with a brain tumor three years ago. She lived through her illness with courage and good spirits. She was much loved and will be sorely missed.

Steiner grew up in North London and studied English at university. She then trained as a journalist and worked in newspapers for 20 years.

She joined the Guardian in 2001 where she was editor and editor for 11 years, specializing in lifestyle articles. After her departure, she continued to contribute as a freelancer. She has also worked for The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Evening Standard.

Her first novel, Homecoming, was published by Faber & Faber to critical acclaim in 2013. But it was her second, the Missing literary mystery novel, Presumed, which featured detective Manon Bradshaw and saw her join bestseller lists. The book was shortlisted for the Theakston Prize for Crime Novel of the Year.

Its sequel, Persons Unknown, also received great acclaim and was selected for the Theakstons. The third of the Manon trilogy, Remain Silent, was released in 2020.

Philip Pullman described Manon Bradshaw’s novels as “police procedurals with real imagination and heart and a wonderful lightness of style and spirit”.

Steiner has written extensively about losing sight to retinitis pigmentosa, or RP – an inherited condition – and was recorded as totally blind six months after her “lifetime dream came true” when her first novel was sold at auction..

In May 2019 she was diagnosed with a brain tumor – grade 4 glioblastoma – and in June 2020 she wrote in the Guardian about her experience of being treated for the disease during lockdown, detailing how the books had been his “lifeline”.

“It’s been weirdly easier to cope with my illness during lockdown, because I’m not the only one whose life is on hold, not the only one terrified of dying,” she said. writing.

Steiner lived in London with her husband and two young sons.

Her agent Sarah Ballard said: “Susie’s glorious talent as a writer was rooted in her deep appreciation of the undercurrents of human nature. A little domestic exchange could turn into something magical, heartbreaking or hilarious, as she tells it.

“Her special insight made her not only a critically acclaimed best-selling writer, but also a generous and very funny friend who will be missed by all who knew her. It also made her a passionately attentive and caring mother. to her two sons who, along with her husband, Tom, have always been at the center of her world.

“We are heartbroken for their loss, and for ours, and for the absence of the work she had planned to write. At the same time, we are very grateful that she left us her voice under the form of his four outstanding novels.

Its editor, Suzie Dooré, said: “Susie was an amazing person and a wonderful writer. Personally, I’m proud to have counted her as a friend as well, and I will always remember and cherish her quick wit and brutal honesty, two attributes she was able to pass on to her series character Manon Bradshaw.

“A train trip to a festival with Susie was guaranteed to bring hilarity, oversharing, Percy Pigs and mini bottles of wine. She was truly unique, full of warmth and incredibly insightful.

Louise Doughty, the author of Apple Tree Yard, said on Twitter: “I’m so sad to hear this – we did some readings together when she was published by Faber and she was funny, kind and talented.”


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