Category:Anthony Gardner

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Anthony Gardner's early life was spent partly in England and partly in Ireland. To this day he dreads crossing the Irish Sea by ferry, and only does it to give a very charming cocker spaniel a summer holiday.

Born in Dublin, he lived in London until the age of ten, when his parents moved to the Tipperary countryside. Life there revolved largely around riding; but having little affinity with horses, he preferred to spend his time huddled in front of the fire with a book. Yeats's poetry was his first love, and as a teenager he devoured the novels of Evelyn Waugh and Scott Fitzgerald.

He studied English at Oxford, with the Romantic poets as his main subject. On leaving he spent two years trying to break into journalism, while scraping a living first as a hospital porter and then as an English teacher; eventually – much to his surprise – he found himself working as a trainee sub-editor on a glossy magazine, Harpers & Queen, of which he later became deputy editor. He has been freelance since 2000, writing for publications ranging from the Sunday Times Magazine to Architectural Digest. In 2003 he was asked to take charge of the Royal Society of Literature's magazine, which he re-launched as RSL, with contributors ranging from Ben Okri to Tom Stoppard.

But though journalism was (and is) his life from Monday to Friday, his weekends were devoted to writing fiction. His first novel, The Rivers of Heaven – interweaving the lives of a young photographer and a newborn child – was published in 2009 after spending sixteen years gathering dust. His second, Fox, came out in January 2016. In it he was finally able to put to use the knowledge of foxhunting which had rubbed off on him in Tipperary, as he imagined the huntsmen and their hounds pursuing urban foxes through the streets of London. He also writes poetry, which has been published in the London Magazine.

When asked about his other interests, he tries to think of some that don't involve books, but it's difficult. He likes music and travel and cinema – but then, so do most people. And he likes walking, particularly in the Lake District, but doesn't share the view that a four-hour walk is always more enjoyable than a two-hour one. His favourite sport is tennis, which he might have been reasonably good at it if he'd had proper coaching at school; as it is, his serve always lets him down.

He has a long-suffering wife who, luckily for him, is not only an artist and translator but a brilliant book editor.

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