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The Old Country (2008)

Sam North

Sam North

Sam North

Sam North left school at 16 and worked as a groom, as a motorcycle messenger, as a runner on film sets, doing fight sequences for 1980s pop videos, on building sites, as well as undertaking episodes of travel in Europe and the Americas. Aged 29 he published his first novel, which won a Somerset Maugham award, and in his thirties wrote a further three novels and worked as the head of development for a television company producing
documentaries and dramas for the BBC and Channel 4.

He wrote a dramatization of beat photographer Robert Frank’s life, shot in Harlem, and ghost-wrote two best-selling autobiographies. He became a Director of the literary agency AP Watt, selling film rights to American and British producers. Aged 40 he moved to Dartmoor to write full time, with film projects at Disney and The Film Council (unproduced). He wrote a further four novels, one of which was long-listed for the Man Booker prize. Aged 47 he joined Exeter University and wrote two books on the craft of writing and in 2010 he won an Eric Gregory Award for a body of work. He recently wrote a film optioned to the producer Kevin Loader (Death of Stalin, etc). He is married with three grown-up children and lives on Dartmoor.

View Sam's staff profile


  • The Automatic Man, Secker and Warburg, 1989
  • Chapel Street, Secker and Warburg, 1992
  • The Gifting Programme, Secker and Warburg, 1993
  • By Desire, Secker and Warburg, 1996
  • The Lie of the Land, Secker and Warburg, 1998
  • The Unnumbered, Scribner, 2004
  • The Velvet Rooms, Scribner, 2007
  • The Old Country, Scribner, 2008


  • Five Analogies, Gylphi Press, 2012
  • The Instinctive Screenplay, Palgrave, 2017