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Nina Stibbe (born 1961) is a British writer. After growing up in Leicester, she became a nanny in the household of Mary-Kay Wilmers, editor of the London Review of Books. Her semi-fictionalised account of this time was the basis for her first book Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life which was adapted into the 2016 BBC television series Love, Nina.


Life and careerEdit

Born in 1962, Nina grew up in rural Leicestershire, England, in a single parent family.[1][2][3] In 1982, she left Leicestershire to work as the nanny in the household of Mary-Kay Wilmers for two years, at 55 Gloucester Crescent, London, looking after Mary-Kay's two children with Stephen Frears, Sam and Will.[4] At the time Gloucester Avenue was the home of a number of notable artistic and literary figures, including Alan Bennett, Jonathan Miller, Claire Tomalin and Michael Frayn. This literary environment was completely new to her. During this time, Nina wrote letters to her sister Victoria, back in Leicestershire, detailing her experiences as a nanny amongst the literary elite. These letters became the basis for Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, which was shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year Award and won Non-Fiction Book of the Year at the 2014 National Book Awards.[4][5]

After leaving the Wilmers household Stibbe studied Humanities at Thames Polytechnic. In 1990 she started work as a marketing assistant at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, then as a rep for the Open University Press, and finally for Routledge, becoming a commissioning editor.[6][7] In 2002 she moved to Cornwall with her partner, Mark Nunn, who she met while living on Gloucester Crescent, and their children Eva and Alf.[6][1]

In 2014, she published her first novel, Man at the Helm.

In 2016, Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life was adapted by Nick Hornby for the BBC, as Love, Nina, starring Faye Marsay in the title role and Helena Bonham Carter.[8]


  • Love, Nina: Despatches from Family Life, London: Penguin, 2013
  • Man at the Helm, London: Penguin, 2014
  • Paradise Lodge, London: Penguin, 2016
  • An Almost Perfect Christmas, London: Penguin 2017


  1. ^ a b "Nina Stibbe interview: 'I always thought I'd be a writer, but I had no belief in myself'". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  2. ^ "Love, Nina: confessions of a north London nanny". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  3. ^ Clark, Interview by Alex (2015-06-20). "Nina Stibbe: 'I wish I'd made Alan Bennett a bit funnier. But to me he was a middle-aged man'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  4. ^ a b Kellaway, Kate (2013-11-10). "Love, Nina by Nina Stibbe – review". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  5. ^ "Nina Stibbe". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  6. ^ a b "About Nina Stibbe | Nina Stibbe". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  7. ^ "Nina Stibbe: Interview | The Bookseller". Retrieved 2017-06-19.
  8. ^ "BBC - Love, Nina - Media Centre". Retrieved 2017-06-19.

External linksEdit