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Student celebrates first novel while carrying out collaborative PhD at School

26 Ionawr 2017

PhD student Miranda Emmerson who is celebrating the publication of her new novel.
PhD student Miranda Emmerson who is celebrating the publication of her new novel.

A School of Modern Languages postgraduate student is currently celebrating the publication of her first novel in the UK, USA and Canada.

Miranda Emmerson, who is studying a PhD at the School, secured publication deals with 4th Estate in the UK and Harper Collins in the US and Canada for her first fictional book, Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars during the first few weeks of starting her studies in Cardiff. Now, just over a year later, Miranda is celebrating the book’s publication this month to a host of positive reviews.

Miranda describes the book as an “unconventional mystery” which is set in the west end of London during the 1960s. It centres on the various diverse communities and subcultures based in that area during the decade and explores the less obvious parts of the city at that time. Miranda says, “It’s a novel about a very diverse community living in London in the 1960s and they’re sort of on the edge of the more famous parts of the capital: the Marquee club and the Beatles and the world of Mod fashion. I wanted to explore the less obvious parts of London life at that time, the ska clubs, the Turkish cafes, the people who - like Anna Treadway, my main character - work backstage in the West End theatres. This is the 60s of my parent's generation and I think it has a lot to say about the time we live in now. “

Miranda is no stranger to writing having trained as a scriptwriter earlier in her life. After working for Radio 4 adapting books into drama serials she yearned to return to academia to carry out a PhD. Serendipitously, a friend told her about a collaborative opportunity between the BBC and the School, to catalogue and write a thesis on 100 years of BBC radio adaptations, and after applying in 2015, Miranda was offered a studentship.

Since then work hasn't stopped for Miranda who continued her studies despite her publishing contract. With support from the School Miranda has recently finished a six month break in her PhD to concentrate on the sequel to Miss Treadway & the Field of Stars.

Speaking of her books, Miranda said, “Writing books - be they fiction or academic - is about trying to engage a large group of people in a conversation that you think is worth having; and when you get people to start talking and engaging that’s one of the best feelings in the world.”

We wish Miranda well with the publication of her book and the completion of her PhD. To find out more about Miranda and Miss Treadway please visit her website.

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