Open main menu

Joanne Limburg (born 1970) is a British writer and poet based in Cambridge. She has published three books of poetry for adults, one book of poetry for children, a novel and two books of memoirs.

Joanne Limburg
London, England
Notable worksFemenismo,


Limburg was born in London to parents who were Reform Jews and raised in Stanmore, a district of Hackney, and Edgware.[1][2] Her mother came from Kremenchug in the Ukraine, while her father's family arrived before the late 19th century.[1] At Cambridge University, she studied social and political sciences.[2]

She won a Eric Gregory Award in 1998 for her poetry.[3] Her first book of poetry, Femenismo was published in 2000. The book was shortlisted for the 2000 Forward Prize Best First Collection.[4] Her debut novel, A Want of Kindness, which concerns the 18th century monarch Queen Anne, was published in 2015.[1] "Despite the constraints imposed by her wet heroine, Limburg has written a deft, absorbing book about a fascinating period", wrote Antonia Senior in The Times.[5]

Limburg has written about the guilt of her miscarriage and the possibility that she had thoughts of harming her baby.[6] It was only during her pregnancy that she self diagnosed her own Obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD) and later it was confirmed by a specialist.[7] She suffers from Asperger's syndrome, which was only diagnosed in her 30s.[8]

The Woman Who Thought Too Much, a memoir, was published in January 2011.[9] The book is revealing of the authors feelings about her own obsessive-compulsive disorder and the challenges it has brought. She has a need for constant reassurance.[4] Limburg has lost jobs over her fear of unusual things happening. She considers what would happen if her husband got cancer or a car hits her and her son.[7]

Limburg was a Royal Literary Fund fellow based at Magdalene College (2008–10) and Newnham College (2016–17), both in Cambridge.[10]

Works includeEdit

  • Femenismo, 2000
  • Paraphernalia, 2007 (Poetry Book Society Recommendation)
  • The Woman Who Thought Too Much, 2011 (shortlisted for Mind Book of the Year Award)
  • The Oxygen Man, 2012
  • Bookside Down, 2013
  • A Want of Kindness, 2015
  • Autistic Alice, 2017
  • Small Pieces, 2017


  1. ^ a b c Garvey, Anne. "Interview: Joanne Limburg". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Anderson, Hephzibah (24 June 2010). "Review: The Woman Who Thought Too Much". The Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Joanne Limberg". InterLitq. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b Brown, Helen (16 April 2010). "The Woman Who Thought Too Much by Joanne Limburg". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  5. ^ Senior, Anne (18 July 2015). "Historical fiction: The Book of Aron; Watchmaker of Filigree Street; A Want of Kindness; Kit; Kingmaker: Broken Faith; Marston Moor". The Times. Retrieved 16 July 2019. (subscription required)
  6. ^ Limburg, Joanne (4 April 2010). "Once upon a life: Joanne Limburg". The Observer. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  7. ^ a b Fighting Back, 2010, The Express, Retrieved 26 March 2017
  8. ^ Limburg, Joanne (16 July 2019). "I knew people found me uncanny and strange – then came the diagnosis that explained it all". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  9. ^ Finlayson, Iain (1 January 2011). "The Woman Who Thought Too Much: a Memoir of Obsession and Compulsion, by Joanne Limburg". The Times. Retrieved 16 July 2019.
  10. ^ "Joanne Limburg". Royal Literary Fund. Retrieved 16 July 2019.