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Author: Secretary

Goodman, Jordan

Jordan Goodman

For twenty-five years I was an academic historian until I decided that researching and writing were my chief passions. I took early retirement about ten years ago (I miss the teaching but not the administration, which, my ex-colleagues tell me, grows by leaps and bounds). I have published two books and am just completing my third under this new non-academic hat. Biography fascinates me as a way of thinking about history. In my last book (The Devil and Mr Casement – Verso, London, 2009 and Farrar, Straus & Giroux, New York 2010) and in the present one (Paul Robeson: Cold War, Verso, London and New York, to appear 2013), I use biography as a prism to lay bare wider political and cultural issues. I have not entirely severed my academic connections, however. I am an Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at University College London. Needless to say, I don’t do any administration there.

Lapuerta, Alina

Alina Lapuerta

Born in Havana and raised in the United States, Alina Garcia-Lapuerta spent years researching her first biography, tracing the Comtesse Merlin’s footsteps from her native Cuba to Spain and France. A magna cum laude graduate of Georgetown University and a former Harris Fellow at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, she worked in international banking. Her background in Latin American and European history, economics and politics informed her research into La Belle Creole’s world. She is also a member of Biographers International Organization (BIO) and now writes from London, where she lives with her Spanish husband and two children.

La Belle Creole – the first English language biography of Cuban-born aristocrat Mercedes de Santa Cruz y Montalvo, also known as the Comtesse Merlin, who was years ahead of her time as a writer, a socialite in the salons of Paris and survived dangerous political turmoil in Spain during the Peninsular War. Through her writing she became the first woman to intervene prominently in the Cuban slavery debate. (Spring 2014, Chicago Review Press).




Jochimsen, John

John Jochimsen

Photojournalist John Jochimsen’s memoir Eighty Years Gone in a Flash showcases his life and work. For more than fifty years he was devoted to breaking the stories of the day. Often working alone, he risked his life to document many of the world’s conflicts. Assignments included prolonged spells in the Sudan, Kenya and Liberia, and in Malaya, where he was caught in a fire-fight between British troops and terrorists. His pictures defined an era, and appeared regularly in a string of magazines across the globe. John reveals the stories behind his pictures, providing fascinating insights into photography (from glass plates to digital) and the world’’s social history as he recounts the personal tale of a 20th-century photojournalist.

Cooper, Wendy

Wendy Cooper

Amaa, Juliana

Juliana Amaa


Born in 1992, Juliana Amaa is a student, writer and researcher. She is a former television contributing writer, having worked for Channel 4’s Skins and the BBC’s Blast. She has been a young freelancer and researcher for the Daily Express since she was seventeen. More recently, she has written a review for the online magazine, Last.Fm, on Amy Winehouse’s last album Lioness: Hidden Treasures in 2011. Juliana lives in London.


Hempel, Sandra

Sandra Hempel

Sandra Hempel has been a journalist for most of her career, specialising for the past 20 years in health and social issues. Her first book, The Medical Detective, published by Granta, tells the story of the Victorian doctor John Snow, who discovered how the killer disease cholera was being spread, and charts his fight to gain acceptance for his ideas. It won the Medical Journalists’ Association book prize and the British Medical Association’s prize for the public understanding of science. Her second book, The Inheritor’s Powder, about arsenic poisoning in the 19th century is to be published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in April 2013.

Hilton, Lisa

Lisa Hilton

Lisa Hilton is the author of four biographies: “Athenais: The Real Queen of France”, “Mistress Peachum’s Pleasure”, “Queens Consort”, “The Horror of Love: Nancy Mitford and Gaston Palewski in Paris and London”, and one novel, “The House with Blue Shutters”. Her first historical novel, “Wolves in Winter”, will be published by Atlantic in November. Lisa works regularly as a journalist and broadcaster and lives with her husband and daughter in London.

Levy, Paul

Paul Levy

Paul Levy was born in Kentucky, lives near Oxford and hangs out in Hampstead. Educated at the University of Chicago, UCL, Harvard (PhD) and Nuffield College, Oxford, he is a trustee of the Strachey and Jane Grigson Trusts, and chair of the Oxford Symposium Trust. Unless you count his childhood autobiography, Finger Lickin’ Good, and his regular obituaries for the Independent, his chief biography is Moore: G.E. Moore and the Cambridge Apostles, though he has edited The Letters of Lytton Strachey and some of Strachey’s papers.

On the staff of the Observer for several years as food and wine editor, he has been the culture correspondent for The Wall Street Journal Europe since the 1990s. He blogs at, see

Skre, Arnhild

Arnhild Skre

Arnhild Johanna Skre (b. 1952) is a Norwegian writer and historian with special interests in culture and political history in the early post-war period and in biography from art and literary history in late 19th and early 20th century. She has been a journalist since 1978 and an author since 1988. Since 2011 she has been the vice chairman of the Norwegian Biographic Society. Her latest book is the biography “Hulda Garborg. Nasjonal strateg”, for which she won the Norwegian Book Prize for biography in 2011. She lives near Oslo.

Starling, William

William Starling