My critical and historical books and essays explore different figures in myth and fairy tale, such as the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc; more recently I have concentrated on fairy tales, including the Arabian Nights. I also write novels and short stories, often drawing on mythic or other imaginary predecessors to translate them into contemporary significance – to re-vision them.

Stories come from the past but speak to the present, and I have found that I need to write stories as well as deconstruct them and place them in historical contexts, because I myself love reading works of imagination, and I would like to join the conversation with admired predecessors, who range from Apuleius
to Virginia Woolf, Italo Calvino, and Angela Carter. .’

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For latest news please see the Diary here



She was born in London in 1946, of an Italian mother and an English father who was a bookseller. After primary schools in Cairo and Brussels, she was educated in England at St Mary’s Convent, Ascot, and then read French and Italian as an undergraduate at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, of which she is now an Honorary Fellow.

Associate member, English Faculty, Oxford 2016.
DBE 2015.
The Holberg Prize, 2015.
Two Year Fellowship, All Souls College Oxford, 2013.
Honorary Fellow at St Cross College, Oxford.
Honorary Fellow at Mansfield College, Oxford.
President - Elect, Royal Society of Literature
She is Distinguished Visiting professor at NYU Abu Dhabi from January 2012.

She was elected a fellow of the British Academy in 2005, and was made a CBE for services to literature in 2008.

She is President of the British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) for the period 2010-2013 and was elected
a two-year Fellow at All Souls College Oxford in 2013.

She is currently a trustee of The National Portrait Gallery and patron of the Ted Hughes Society, Bloodaxe Books, Society for Story Telling, Hosking Houses Trust and The Longford Trust.

She gave the BBC’s Reith Lectures in 1994.

She has been awarded Honorary Doctorates by:

King’s College London, 2009
Oxford University, 2006

University of Leicester, 2006
University of Kent, 2005
Royal College of Art, 2004
Tavistock Institute (University of East London), 1999
University of St Andrew’s, 1998
University of North London, 1997
University of York, 1997
Sheffield Hallam University, 1995
University of Exeter, 1995

For the full Curriculum Vitae please see here.



The Man Booker International Prize 2015

The five judges who will trawl world literature for authors who have made a significant contribution are announced today. Chaired by writer and academic Marina Warner CBE, the panel consists of the novelist Nadeem Aslam, writer and critic Elleke Boehmer, Editorial Director of the New York Review Classics series, Edwin Frank and Professor of Arabic and Comparative Literature at SOAS, University of London, Wen-chin Ouyang.
See more here.

MW becomes Professor of English and Creative Writing, Birkbeck College, University of London, September 2014, more information can be found here.

WINNER - 2013 Sheikh Zayed Book Award
Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights
Full details here.

WINNER - 2013 Truman Capote Award for Literary Criticism
Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights
Full details here.

WINNER - 2012 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights
Full details here.


'Once Upon A Time - A Short History of Fairy Tale' by Marina Warner , puished by Oxford University Press , September 2014.

MW's 'Alone of All Her Sex: Cult of the Virgin Mary' and 'Joan of Arc' are being re-published by Oxford University Press with new introductions in March 2013. More information can be found within the Publications> Non-Fiction section of the website here.

'The Symbol Gives Rise to Thought: Writings on Art by Marina Warner Volume 1', Edited by Vivian Sky Rehberg, Introduction by Marina Warner, published by Violette Editions (Autumn 2012). The first of two volumes. More information here.

She has just completed a book Stranger Magic: Charmed States & the Arabian Nights published by Chatto & Windus, November 2011, for more news and information about this book please see here. The paperback edition is published in November 2012 by Vintage.


'Scheherazade's Children: Global Encounters with the Arabian Nights' Edited By Philip Kennedy and Marina Warner, NYU Press, Nov 2013

"Metamorphosis of the Monstrous," in Fairy Tales, Monsters, and the Genetic Imagination by Mark W. Scala, Vanderbilt University Press, March 2012. Please click here.

'Perpetua's Prisons: Notes on the Margins of Literature in Perpetua's Passions; Multidisciplinary Approaches to the Passio Perpetuae et Felicitatis ed. Jan N. Bremmer and Marco Formisano, Oxford University Press, February 2012.

For a list of Novels, Stories, Libretti, and works for children please see Fiction here.
For a list of books of cultural history please see Non-Fiction here.
For Essays on Literature and Culture please see here.
For Essays on Art please see here.

She is currently working on a novel inspired by her father’s bookshop in Egypt in the Fifties entitled ‘Inventory of a Life Mislaid’.

Portrait of Marina Warner, as drawn by artist Dirk Vis





© Marina Warner 2011 - Contact