Alba Arikha is the author of four books: Muse and Walking on Ice, published by Macmillan in 1998 and 2000. Her memoir, Major/Minor, about her adolescence in Paris, was published by Quartet Books in 2011, and has just come out as a paperback, endorsed by John Banville, Paul Auster and Edmund de Waal. It was shortlisted for the Spear’s awards and selected among the best books of 2012 by the New Yorker. Her last book, a narrative poem, Soon, was set to music and performed as an opera at the Riverside Studios, London. She is currently completing a new novel, and is preparing the libretto for an opera version of Major/Minor, with her husband the composer Tom Smail and the film director, Hugh Hudson.
She is a member of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors, and was a 2013 fellow at the Santa Maddalena Foundation. Since 2012, she has been teaching creative writing. She’s worked with adolescents and taught her own workshop at Persephone Books, with fellow novelist Jenny McPhee, followed by the Chocolate Factory, in London (‘portraits in writing’), and a summer creative writing class inspired by painting, at the Royal Academy of Art, in 2016. She has been involved in Guardian masterclasses since 2015, teaching classes on short fiction, and is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor at Columbia University.
In addition to her books, Alba has written for Tatler, IQ magazine, The New Republic and is a regular contributor to Spear’s Magazine. She is also a singer songwriter, has performed in London and Paris and has recorded two CD’s.