Sophie Cooke

3 April 1976 –

Novelist, poet and travel writer

Sophie Cooke is a Scottish novelist, short story writer, poet, and travel writer. Speaking in an interview with Aesthetica magazine in 2009, Cooke has said that her work is primarily concerned with questions of truth. She has developed the notion of truth as a depreciable asset. Cooke's work deals with the concealment of truth on various levels, from personal self-deceptions to governments misleading the public. She is the author of the novels The Glass House and Under The Mountain.

Cooke was born in 1976 and spent her childhood in Kilmahog: this house later formed the setting for her second novel. She attended McLaren High School in Callander (Perthshire) and then the University of Edinburgh, where she gained a Masters degree in Social Anthropology. Cooke is a great, great granddaughter of biologist Thomas Henry Huxley.

In 2000, Cooke's short story Why You Should Not Put Your Hand Through The Ice won runner-up prize in the MacAllan/Scotland on Sunday Short Story Competition. Cooke also contributed the short story At The Time to the anthology Damage Lands (2001), edited by Alan Bissett. Cooke's first novel The Glass House (2004) was published by Random House and shortlisted for the Saltire First Book of The Year Award. In 2006 her short story Skin And Bones was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, performed by the actress Laura Fraser. Cooke's poetry of the same year addressed environmental issues. Her second novel Under the Mountain, published in 2008, showed a greater political emphasis than her previous work. This novel combined her interest in personal fabrications with wider social memes such as terrorism, and specifically with the construction of potentially false narratives around terrifying events. The political emphasis in Cooke's work continued in 2009 with the performance of her first dramatic monologue, Protective Measures, at the Kikinda Short Story Festival in Serbia.

Critics have drawn parallels between Cooke's work and that of Virginia Woolf (Scottish Review of Books, 2008) and of contemporary screenwriters such as Thomas Vinterberg (Manchester Evening News, 2004). In 2009 she was living in Berlin. Cooke also writes travel articles for The Guardian.

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