Liz Jensen (born 1959) is an English novelist living in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Liz Jensen
Born1959 (age 64–65)
Oxfordshire, England
Pen nameEmma Ryder
OccupationNovelist, translator, activist
EducationSomerville College, Oxford
GenreBlack comedy, science fiction, satire, family drama, historical fantasy, psychological suspense
SpouseCarsten Jensen
Children2, including Raphaël Coleman



Liz Jensen was born in Oxfordshire, the daughter of a Danish father and an Anglo-Moroccan mother.[1] She studied English at Somerville College, Oxford.[2]

She first worked as a print and radio journalist in Hong Kong and Taiwan.[3] She then spent four years as a sculptor, translator and freelance writer in France,[4] where she wrote her first novel, Egg Dancing (1995). She then returned to London to write Ark Baby (1998), The Paper Eater (2000), and War Crimes for the Home (2002). While living in the UK, Jensen also spent ten years working as a television and radio producer for the BBC.[3]

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2005.[5] She is also a founder member of Extinction Rebellion's Writers Rebel.[6]

Her fifth novel was adapted into a film version, The 9th Life of Louis Drax, by Alexandre Aja in 2016.[7][8] Her 2009 novel, The Rapture, is to be adapted into a five-part BBC One drama series starring Ruth Madeley.[9]

Personal life


Jensen is married to the Danish writer Carsten Jensen, author of the critically-acclaimed novel We, the Drowned, which she co-translated into English as Emma Ryder.[4] [10][6] Her younger son by her first marriage, Raphaël Coleman, a child actor-turned-climate change activist, died from an undiagnosed heart condition at the age of 25 in 2020.[11][12]


Jensen talks about her 2009 novel The Rapture on Bookbits radio.
  • Egg Dancing (1995)
  • Ark Baby (1998)
  • Paper Eater (2000)
  • War Crimes for the Home (2002)
  • The Ninth Life of Louis Drax (2004)
  • My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time (2006)
  • The Rapture (2009)
  • The Uninvited (2012)
  • Your Wild and Precious Life: On Grief, Hope and Rebellion (Canongate, 2024)


  1. ^ "Liz Jensen". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 8 August 2010.
  2. ^ "The Rapture - Liz Jensen". Retrieved 13 October 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Gloucestershire Festivals - Anthony Minghella and Liz Jensen". BBC. 23 October 2004. Retrieved 16 April 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Join the Goldster Club". Retrieved 19 December 2023.
  5. ^ "Royal Society of Literature All Fellows". Royal Society of Literature. Archived from the original on 5 March 2010. Retrieved 9 August 2010.
  6. ^ a b "About Liz". Liz Jensen. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  7. ^ Jensen, Liz (2 September 2016). "Liz Jensen: Seeing The Ninth Life of Louis Drax on screen is like meeting an eerie stranger". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  8. ^ Yamato, Jen (27 August 2014). "'Fifty Shades Of Grey's Jamie Dornan To Star In Miramax's 'The 9th Life Of Louis Drax,' Alexandre Aja Directing". Deadline. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  9. ^ Barraclough, Leo (20 April 2023). "Ruth Madeley to Star in BBC Adaptation of Liz Jensen's 'The Rapture'". Variety. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  10. ^ "Liz Jensen: Imagining the future of a haunted planet". The Independent. 14 July 2012. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  11. ^ McElroy, Holly (12 November 2020). "Liz Jensen | Storytellers & the Climate Crisis". Wales Arts Review. Retrieved 22 April 2023.
  12. ^ Shoard, Catherine (11 February 2020). "Raphaël Coleman, Nanny McPhee star and climate activist, dies aged 25". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 22 April 2023.