Lisa is the author and photographer of several award-winning books, and Rag and Bone (John Murray 2020) won the Royal Society of Literature Giles St Aubyn Award for Non-fiction. Lost to the Sea is out with John Murray in May.
A beachcomber and mudlark, Lisa grew up by the sea on the Isle of Sheppey at the mouth of the Thames. Her grandfather was from a South London family in the ‘scavenging professions’ and she spent much of her childhood fossicking along the island’s shores, collecting—among other things—fossils, sharks’ teeth and old bottles.
The island’s cliffs have a strange and otherworldly feel as they are constantly being eroded and washed away, losing on average five feet a year. She grew up with stories of local churches and pubs that over the years had been lost to the sea. A favourite place was ‘The Pub With No Beer’, at the time a derelict shell near the edge of the cliff, with the gents already partway to the beach.
After leaving the island, Lisa worked as a documentary photographer for 12 years. Past clients include the Independent on Sunday, Daily Telegraph and Observer. For the last 20 years she has lived with her family and a lurcher in Cornwall, in a house shared with buckets and boxes of shore finds.
In the past, Lisa has given book talks – often illustrated with her photographs – at events and venues including the Port Eliot Festival, Eden Project, Fowey Festival, Waterstones, Paisley Book Festival, North Cornwall Book Festival and Bournemouth Arts by the Sea Festival. From May she will be speaking about her new book Lost to the Sea.
She is represented by Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander.
And finally… for some background stories from the two most recent books, see the blogs below: