S. J. Parris
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S. J. Parris is the pen-name of Stephanie Merritt, a writer for the Observer and Guardian newspapers.  In 1996 she graduated from Cambridge with a degree in English. She has worked as a critic and feature writer for a range of newspapers and magazines including The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The New Statesman, New Humanist, and Die Welt. From 1998 to 2006 she was the Deputy Literary Editor of The Observer.


Merritt is the author of four novels: Gaveston (2002), winner of a Betty Trask Award for a first novel under the age of 35, Real (2005), and the two Giordano Bruno books (as S.J. Parris), Heresy (2010) and Prophecy (2011). She has also written a memoir about living with depression, The Devil Within (2008), which was shortlisted for the Mind Book Award. She has been a judge for the Costa Biography Award and the Orange New Writing Award, and has appeared on BBC Radio 4 and BBC 7 as a critic and panellist.


On writing the Bruno books under a pseudonym, Merritt explains:

Once employed to hide the author's identity, now a pseudonym serves more as a guide to the reader, identifying what kind of book they can expect from that particular name. Initials in place of a first name always lend a useful air of ambiguity; I kept my own but wanted a surname that would be easily memorable and not incongruous with the tone of the books.


An interview with Stephanie Merritt about writing crime fiction and her choice of Bruno.


A video about Stephanie’s first Giordano Bruno book, Heresy: