on the grid: GRANTA'S YOUNG BRITISH NOVELISTS
SARAH WATERS, 37 Grew up in Wales, studied English at Kent University; did a PhD on lesbian historical fiction; wrote first novel Tipping the Velvet while teaching at Open University; her second novel Affinity won the Somerset Maughan Award. Shortlisted for last year's Booker Prize
In a small sixth-floor flat in Brixton with her two cats
'Lesbo Victorian romps' is her own description of her trilogy (Tipping the Velvet, Affinity, The Fingersmith)
Says Likes: Dickens and Thackeray. 'I love the way they span history and society - contemporary novels don't.' Dislikes: critics' lofty expectations.
More so with each successful novel'
'People paying me to write used to seem just awful. It took me a long time to feel I was a writer'
35 Went to Oxford University where he wrote 100 poems a year for student mag Isis; break came on the creative writing course at UEA during Malcolm Bradbury's final year. First novel snatched up after Bradbury published four of his short stories
With his girlfriend in Bermondsey, South East London
21st-century postmodernism - his first novel Adventures in Capitalism opens with epitaphs from Samuel Johnson and …