Noreen Masud was born and raised in Pakistan. She is a literary scholar working on the twentieth century, writing about things which, in one way or another, present variously as absurd, unrevealing, embarrassing or useless. These include aphorisms, flatness, spivs, puppets, nonsense, leftovers, earworms, footnotes, rhymes, hymns, surprises, folk songs, colours and superstition. She is an AHRC/BBC New Generation Thinker 2020, and is currently based at Durham as a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Her first book is Hard Language: Stevie Smith and the Aphorism (Oxford University Press, 2021).