Monaghan, Nicola 1971–

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Monaghan, Nicola 1971–


Born March 8, 1971, in Nottingham, England; daughter of an electrical fitter and a homemaker; married. Education: Graduated from the University of York, 1992; Nottingham Trent University, M.A., 2004.


Home—Nottingham, England. Office—School of English, University of Central England, Birmingham, Perry Barr, Birmingham B42 2SU, England. Agent—Luigi Bonomi Associates, 91 Great Russell St., London WC1B 3BS, England. E-mail—[email protected]; [email protected]


National Academy of Writing, University of Central England, Birmingham, England, fellow; worked variously as a teacher, financial analyst, and software engineer.


Betty Trask Award, Authors' Club Best First Novel Award, and Waverton Good Read, all for The Killing Jar.


The Killing Jar (novel), Chatto & Windus (London, England), 2006, Scribner (New York, NY), 2007.

Author of own Web log.


Nicola Monaghan's first novel, The Killing Jar, is set in the government housing projects of Nottingham, England. The story tells of Kerrie-Ann, a child forced to sell drugs at the age of ten by her addict mother's boyfriend. A few years later, her mother walks out on her and Kerrie-Ann is forced to survive on her own. She moves in with her boyfriend, Mark, and the two sell drugs by day and take them at night. Eventually Mark becomes abusive and Kerrie-Ann seeks to get out of her situation. In a London Guardian review, Joanna Hines called the novel "thought-provoking and compelling, right to the last page." Booklist contributor Joanne Wilkinson described the story as "utterly gripping." A contributor to Publishers Weekly concluded: "The stark material and unsentimental prose make for a wrenching look at devotion, crime, and violence."

Monaghan told CA: "The first time I realized I wanted to be a writer was when I was ten, and a teacher read out a story to the class and I got a reaction. Some people told me afterwards that they'd wanted my story to go on and on. This was my first-ever reader reac- tion, and I loved it and wanted more. It took me another twenty odd years, and several wrong turns, to finally be heading in this direction.

"I write most days and am one of those sickening people who don't really suffer from writers' block. I don't usually set myself any daily target but take it as it comes, and edit or do administration if the muse isn't on me. My characters are the people who lead me. They feel very real to me. Perhaps I'm a little mad. I love writing and can't imagine doing anything else. I also love teaching and find my students constantly stimulating and inspiring. Influences include Irvine Welsh, Chuck Palahnuik, Margaret Atwood, Al Kennedy, Alan Sillitoe. I have recently discovered Amy Hempel. Wow!"



Booklist, January 1, 2007, Joanne Wilkinson, review of The Killing Jar, p. 55.

Bookseller, December 16, 2005, review of The Killing Jar, p. 38.

City Paper (Philadelphia, PA), Stephen Peterson, review of The Killing Jar.

Financial Times, March 25, 2006, review of The Killing Jar, p. 49.

Guardian (London, England), March 31, 2007, Joanna Hines, review of The Killing Jar.

Publishers Weekly, November 13, 2006, review of The Killing Jar, p. 30.


National Association of Writers in Education Web site, (January 9, 2004), author interview.

Nicola Monaghan Home Page, (August 16, 2007), author biography.

Nicola Monaghan MySpace Profile, (August 16, 2007), author profile.

Nicola Monaghan Web log, (August 16, 2007), author profile., (August 16, 2007), author profile.

Small Spiral Notebook, (June 19, 2007), Horam Kim, review of The Killing Jar.

University of Central England, Birmingham, School of English Web site, (August 16, 2007), author profile.