Alex Preston (author)

Alex Preston (born 1979) is an English author and journalist.

Early life and educationEdit

Preston was born on 18 January 1979, in the seaside town of Worthing in West Sussex.

He attended Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School and then received a scholarship to Lancing College independent boarding school.[1]

Preston graduated from Hertford College, Oxford[2] and went on to receive his PhD in English Literature from University College London.[3]


Preston was working as an investment banker in the early 2000s when the banking market collapsed and he turned to teaching and writing.[1]

Preston's first novel, This Bleeding City, was published by Faber and Faber in March 2010.[4] The novel won the Spear's Best First Novel Prize,[5] the Edinburgh International Book Festival Readers' First Book Award,[6] and was chosen as one of Waterstone's New Voices 2010.[7] It has been translated into twelve languages.[2]

His second novel, The Revelations, was published in February 2012, while his third, In Love and War, was featured on BBC Radio 4's Book at Bedtime.

He is also the co-author of As Kingfishers Catch Fire, a memoir and anthology of literature about British birds.[8]

Preston reviews books for a number of national newspapers and magazines and was a regular panelist on BBC2's The Review Show.[2] He is an English lecturer at the University of Kent.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Alex Preston is the brother of Samuel Preston, the former singer of The Ordinary Boys and Celebrity Big Brother contestant. He is the grandson of Princeton University English professor and literary critic Samuel Hynes.[9][10]

Preston plays cricket for the Authors Cricket Club and contributed a chapter to the team's book The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon.[11] He became notable as player-umpire for asking of fellow novelist Richard Beard, "Do you think you were out?" in response to a bellowed LBW appeal. For this he received the "Decision of the Season" award at their annual dinner.[12]

He lives in Kent, England with his wife and two children.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Preston, Alex. "Best-selling author Alex Preston on the "warmth and genial eccentricity" of Sompting Abbotts Prep School". Sompting Abbotts Preparatory School. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c "About | Alex Preston". Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  3. ^ "Dr Alex Preston - School of English - University of Kent". Archived from the original on 13 September 2018. Retrieved 13 September 2018.
  4. ^ "Faber & Faber : Alex Preston". 30 March 2010. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Spears Book Awards 2010 Shortlist". Archived from the original on 2 June 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  6. ^ "2010 Readers' First Book Award winner announced". Edinburgh International Book Festival. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  7. ^ "Fiction, Children's books, eBooks, Non-fiction books, textbooks and more at Waterstone's". Waterstone's. 15 December 2005. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  8. ^ Preston, Alex; Gower, Neil (2017). As Kingfishers Catch Fire. Corsair. ISBN 9781472152244.
  9. ^ Carole Cadwalladr (19 July 2009). "Interview with Preston, former singer with the Ordinary Boys and now launching a solo career". The Observer. UK. Retrieved 22 October 2011.
  10. ^ "Fifteen minutes with Samuel Preston, singer_guitarist_songwriter with The Ordinary Boys and fan of Morrissey". Julie Hamill. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2014.
  11. ^ Authors Cricket Club (2013). The Authors XI: A Season of English Cricket from Hackney to Hambledon. London: Bloomsbury. ISBN 978-1-4088-4045-0.
  12. ^ Hogg, Nicholas (5 June 2014). "Who would be a player-umpire?". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 7 June 2014.