-A +A

Alan Cowell

Alan S. Cowell (1965) is a journalist and foreign correspondent, as well as the author of three novels.

Alan Cowell portrait
Photograph by Michael St. Maur Sheil (1965)

He has so far published six works of fiction and non-fiction during a career spanning over four decades as a journalist and foreign correspondent, mostly with Reuters and The New York Times.  For 28 years, he lived abroad, in Switzerland, Germany (twice), Turkey, Zambia, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Kenya, South Africa, Greece, Egypt, Italy and France.

"The languages I studied at The Hall were crucial in many ways. Speaking French and German enabled me to navigate lands and cities from Cold War Bonn to post-Wall Berlin, and from West Africa and Beirut to Paris and Geneva. Most of all, it was the study of Gerard de Nerval among French poets that enabled me to weave a literary theme through my novel, The Paris Correspondent."

His first published work, in conjunction with the photographer David C. Turnley, was Why Are They Weeping – South Africans Under Apartheid, followed by Killing the Wizards, a memoir of a reporter’s life in Africa; A Walking Guide, his debut novel; The Terminal Spy covering the polonium poisoning of Alexander V. Litvinenko in London; and a second novel, The Paris Correspondent.

His third novel, Permanent Removal, set in South Africa and exploring the web of relationships surrounding an apartheid-era killing, was published in Johannesburg in April, 2016. It is scheduled to be re-published in the United States in 2018, as is his fourth novel, Cat Flap, a feline fable that explores issues of identity, race and sexuality in 21st-century Britain.

"After I graduated from Teddy Hall and finished up working on provincial evening newspapers, a close friend asked me why I was covering coroner’s courts and flower shows when I had a degree in French and German from Oxford. My response was to get a job in Switzerland. And that was the start of a remarkable adventure in many lands that later figured prominently in my writing."

Visit Alan's author page at Amazon.