Belsize Village Authors
Authors who live in and around the Village
Ashley Dartnell – Author
Lives in La Paletta and Hampstead
Born a Farangi (foreign) girl in 1960s Tehran to an American beauty and a handsome English father, Ashley Dartnell’s life had all the ingredients of a fairy tale.
Farangi Girl: Growing up in Iran: A Daughter's Story Two Roads, 2011. This stunning memoir tells how it all went wrong: from servants and parties to betrayals and bankruptcy.
Ashley was eight years old and living in Tehran in the nineteen sixties: the Shah was in power, life for Westerners was rich and privileged. But somehow it didn’t all add up to a fairytale. There were bankruptcies and prisons, betrayals and lovers, lies and evasions. And throughout it all, Ashley’s passionate and strong-willed mother, Genie.
Farangi Girl: Amazon
Barbara Bisco – Author
Lives in Belsize Crescent
Barbara Bisco is the author of three novels, all of which are set in Asia where she has spent the last thirty years, much of it in Thailand and Indonesia.
Whilst in Asia, Barbara worked for the National Museum in both Bangkok and Jakarta. She also worked with orangutans and tigers at the zoo in Jakarta.
A Taste for Green Tangerines is a novel set in Indonesian Borneo, “A sizzling escape to a richly drawn other world...a book about finding yourself in the most unexpected of places”, and Night of the Water Spirits, a novel set mostly in Thailand, but also Malaysia and Indonesia.
The third novel is Tiger with a Human Soul: A Girl with a Past. When archaeologist, Tess Dickenson, arrives in Java, she is confronted with seemingly impossible memories, overpowering fears and intense feelings for two very different men, one the local head of the office financing her project, the other an irrepressible anthropologist who rides into her life on a red motorcycle.
Barbara has a degree in anthropology from Harvard University and a PhD in economics from Cornell University and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholarship. Married to a nomadic economist, she gave birth to her daughter, Jasmine, in Yogjakarta where Tiger with a Human Soul takes place. Although they now live in London, the whole family regards Indonesia as a second home.
Mo Foster – Author of four books about popular music
Also a noted bassist who has played with many famous musicians
He lives in Belsize Village
British Rock Guitar: The First 50 Years, the Musicians and their Stories
The guitar has become the most emotive musical instrument of the last 50 years of rock and roll. From the early days when wannabee stars fashioned home made guitars out of old tea chests, to today's sophisticated instruments the impact has been phenomenal.
Drawing on his own recollections and those of some of the greatest exponents of the rock guitar, from Hank Marvin to Eric Clapton and Brian May, Mo Foster has written the definitive history of the importance of the guitar in the development of British music over the last 50 years. A renowned bass player, Mo Foster has played with the greats and with their backing and memories has written an insightful, yet passionate and humorous book.
Mo Foster's Books
Timothy Salmon – Writer and Translator
Lives in Belsize Lane
Tim Salmon is author of the original Rough Guides to France and Paris, and Tim has also written extensively about Greece.
Schizophrenia Who Cares? – A Fathers's Story
The story of my son’s twenty-year struggle with schizophrenia – mine too, come to that. It is a story of periods of reasonable stability punctuated by hospital admissions, followed by discharges into the so-called community where it is never clear who is meant to be responsible for what, who will see that the patient eats properly, keeps himself clean, receives the benefits he is entitled to, has a decent place to live; where it is never clear who is responsible for spotting an approaching relapse and who is going to do something about it when it happens. Will there be a hospital bed available? An endless cycle of anxiety and uncertainty…
Miranda Seymour – Literary Critic, Novelist, and Biographer
Lives in Belsize Park Gardens
Miranda Seymour is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a visiting Professor of English Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, Seymour is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She is an alumna of Bedford College, London, now part of Royal Holloway, University of London.
Biographies by Miranda Seymour include lives of Lady Ottoline Morrell, Mary Shelley, Robert Graves (about whom she also wrote a novel, The Telling and a radio play, Sea Music) and a group portrait of Henry James during his later years (A Ring of Conspirators).
In 2001, Seymour came across material on Hellé Nice, a glamorous, long-forgotten French Grand Prix racing driver from the 1930s. After extensive research on a well-buried subject, she published a highly acclaimed book (2004) about Hellé Nice's extraordinary and ultimately tragic life.
In 2008 she published In My Father's House: Elegy for an Obsessive Love (Simon and Schuster, UK). The same book is published in the US as Thrumpton Hall (Harper Collins) and won the 2008 Pen Ackerley Prize for Memoir of the Year. Always attracted by unusual and challenging subjects, Seymour has most recently published the life of a charismatic 1930s film star, Virginia Cherrill, based upon a substantial archive in private ownership. Noble Endeavours: Stories from England; Stories from Germany was published in September 2013.
Michelene Wandor – Writer, Musician and Poet
Michelene lives in Belsize Lane
Michelene Wandor is a playwright, poet, short story writer, reviewer, broadcaster, theatre historian, musician and a teacher of creative writing. Micheline does readings of her own work, and performs Renaissance and Baroque music with my early music group, The Siena Ensemble.
Musica Transalpina Poetry Collection.
Arc Publications, 2005
Poetry Book Society Recommendation, Spring, 2006
Michelene Wandor's best book yet. She combines her erudition and passion as poet, musician and scholar in a collection that gives immense pleasure, and also continually challenges the reader with the force and variety of its ideas. Alan Brownjohn
Marcelle & Walter Kellermann. He got out of Germany before 1937. Marcelle, a Parisian, did not get out before the Nazis invaded; instead she joined the resistance.
Marcelle Kellermann has written two books about her life during the Nazi occupation of France. The first was published as a novel in 2007, the second in 2008. Her husband E. Walter Kellermann is also published.
A Packhorse Called Rachel
A Girl's Bitter Struggle with the Enemy in Occupied France
Written from first hand experience, this is the true story of a young woman's courageous and drastic start to a life that would never be ordinary. after finding it impossible to carry on as a Jewish student under the Nazi occupation
Journal of a German Resister in Occupied France
The hero of The Interpreter, whom the author has called Frank van Heugen in this book, was posthumously awarded the Croix de la Resistance by General de Gaulle in 1945.
Marcelle Kellermann interrupted her studies at the university in Clermont-Ferrand in France's Auvergne and joined the Resistance in 1942. After the war she married a research physicist in Manchester with whom she had three children. She completed her studies in England and eventually became a Senior Education Adviser in Yorkshire. She developed new ways of teaching foreign languages and published two books on the subject. She was awarded a commemoration medal for her Resistance work and the order of Chevalier Des Palmes Académiques for her work in language teaching by the French government.
Marcelle Kellermann RIP 2015
Walter Kellermann RIP 2012