Gwendoline Riley was born in London in 1979. She is the author of five novels, Cold Water (2002), Sick Notes (2004), Joshua Spassky (2007), Opposed Positions (2012), First Love (2017) and My Phantoms (2021). Cold Water won a Betty Trask Award. Joshua Spassky won the 2008 Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the 2007 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. First Love was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s prize for fiction, the Goldsmiths prize, the Dylan Thomas prize, the Gordon Burn prize and the James Tait Black memorial prize, and was awarded the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for fiction.