About Sarah

Sarah Penny was born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1970. She studied at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes University and St Andrews University, Scotland. She emigrated to the United Kingdom in 2003, and has lectured in English and Creative Writing at Brunel University ever since. She completed her PhD at Brunel in 2017.

Her first novel, The Beneficiaries, was published in 2002 with Penguin South Africa, and was the runner-up for the Sunday Times Fiction Award. Set during The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the novel explores a young woman’s attempt to come to terms with her traumatic past.

A second novel, The Lies We Shared, moves between Kenya, Zimbabwe and London, tracing a daughter’s attempt to discover her family’s secrets in the wake of her mother’s recent death. The Lies We Shared  was published in 2011.

Sarah has also been working with arts for social justice for several years, and is currently retraining as a Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes (CWTP) facilitator with the Metanoia Institute.

Sarah has three young children, and lives in North London.