Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Kiran Millwood Hargrave was born in Surrey in 1990. She studied Creative Writing at the University of Oxford and initially published three books of poetry and a play before turning her attention to children’s literature.
In 2016, she published her debut novel »The Girl of Ink & Stars«, whose protagonist Isabella grows up on the remote island of Joya, where sinister forces are at work. When her best friend disappears, Isabella, a skilled stargazer and map-reader, sets out on a journey of dangers to be conquered and mysteries to be solved. The book won the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards. Her second novel, »The Island at the End of Everything« (2017), centres on twelve-year-old Ami. She lives with her mother on an island that is to become a colony for lepers. Ami, who is not affected by the disease, is separated from her mother. At the orphanage, she meets a girl who becomes a friend and ally. Together they plan to return to the island. Millwood Hargrave’s third book, »The Way Past Winter« (2018), again combines elements of fantasy with an adventure story: Mila lives in Eldbjørn Forest, where eternal winter reigns. When her brother Oskar is kidnapped by the bear spirit Bjørn, she sets out with her siblings and the help of a wizard to find him. Millwood Hargrave’s debut in the Young Adult genre, »The Deathless Girls« (2019) strikes fairy-tale-like, somber tones. Seventeen-year-old twin sisters Lil and Kizzy belong to the traveling folk. Captured and enslaved, Lil meets Mira, who not only awakens unknown feelings in her, but also tells her about a dragon who accepts girls as gifts … In 2020, she published her first book for adults: »The Mercies« is set in Norway at the beginning of the 17th century and is based on true events. After a storm has cost the lives of all the men in the small town of Vardø, the women are left to fend for themselves. Some time later, the witch hunter Absalom Cornet arrives in the town with his young wife Ursa. The women’s strength, independence and reasonableness impress Ursa – and arouse Absalom’s suspicion. »The Guardian« praised the book, which it stated »has all the strengths of Millwood Hargrave’s children’s books: compelling characters, great settings, literary commitment to life, work and women’s relationships with each other.« The novel reached No. 5 on the Sunday Times Bestseller List, the oldest and most influential book sales list in the United Kingdom.
The author lives in Oxford.