Nicola Beauman, founder of Persephone Books


Nicola Beauman’s first book, A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1919-39, was published by Virago in 1983 (reprinted 1989 and 1995); it was reissued in 2008, twenty-five years after first publication, as a Persephone book. Cynthia Asquith appeared in 1987, Morgan: a biography of EM Forster in 1993, and The Other Elizabeth Taylor was published in April 2009 as A Persephone Life. Nicola Beauman founded Persephone Books in 1998. It was set up to reprint (mostly) women writers, (mostly) of the inter-war period portrayed in A Very Great Profession, and now has one hundred and twenty titles in print.


Professor Ted Bishop, University of Alberta


Ted Bishop teaches creative nonfiction, book history, and modernist literature in the department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta. He has authored and edited books on Virginia Woolf and published articles on James Joyce, archives, dustjackets and bookstores. His Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books (Penguin 2005) was a finalist for Governor-General’s Award in Nonfiction and received the MAX Award (Motorcycle Awards of Excellence) for best motorcycle book. His most recent book, The Social Life of Ink. Culture, Wonder and our Relationship with the Written Word (Viking 2014) was also a finalist for Governor-General’s Award in Nonficton (2015) and winner of the Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction.


Uzma Hameed, dramaturg and collaborator on Wayne McGregor’s critically acclaimed ballet triptych Woolf Works



Hameed graduated from the University of Cambridge with a first in modern and medieval languages, and went on to train in classical Indian music and dance. In 1997 she founded the Big Picture Company, an innovative theatre company combining new writing with choreography and film. Hameed was Associate Director at Derby Playhouse 2002–5. She has directed for Kali Theatre, led projects at the National Theatre Studio and taught on workshops and courses for a variety of organizations, including the International Institute of Performing Arts in Paris, BBC Radio for Schools and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a writer, Hameed’s current projects include the novel Undying (co-written with her sister Ambreen) and an English translation of Siegfried Lenz’s Time of the Innocents. She is a trustee of Studio Wayne McGregor.


Professor Susheila Nasta MBE, Open University


Professor Susheila Nasta is Chair in Modern Literature at the Open University and author of several books including Home Truths: Fictions of the South Asian Diaspora in Britain (2002) and Asian Britain: A Photographic History (2013), with Florian Stadtler. Nasta has written extensively on Mulk Raj Anand, Sam Selvon, Jean Rhys and Jamaica Kincaid. In 1984 she founded Wasafiri: The Magazine of International Contemporary Writing of which she is still editor-in-chief. She is currently co-editing the Cambridge History of Black and Asian British Writing (2018) and working on a group biography, provisionally entitled: The Bloomsbury Indians. She was awarded an MBE for services to black and Asian literature in 2011.


Professor Anna Snaith, King’s College London


Anna Snaith is Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature at King’s College London. She is the author of Modernist Voyages: Colonial Women Writers in London (CUP 2014) and Virginia Woolf: Private and Public Negotiations (Palgrave 2000). She has edited The Years for the Cambridge University Press Edition of the Works of Virginia Woolf (2012) and A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas for Oxford World’s Classics (2015). She is currently working on a project on literary modernism and noise.