Joanna Cannon is a former psychiatrist turned bestselling novelist. Her debut novel, The Trouble with Goats and Sheep, published in January 2016, was one of the most hotly anticipated books of the year, earning her a place in The Observer’s annual 'New Faces of Fiction' feature. Within three days of publication, Goats and Sheep had hit the Sunday Times bestseller list, where it peaked at number 3. It has garnered universally rave reviews, being described as 'lively and funny', 'vibrant', 'insightful and honest' and 'masterful'. Her new novel Three Things About Elsie published January 2018 was longlisted for 'The Women’s Prize for Fiction'.
Jo has had an unconventional route to writing. Having left school at fifteen with a single O Level, she worked her way through a series of unskilled jobs until, in her mid-thirties, she returned to education, eventually studying medicine and specialising in psychiatry. It is in her work as a psychiatrist that Jo encountered many of the people who would inspire her to write: 'We need to be kinder to people who stand at the edge of the dance floor. Mental illness doesn’t get the compassion other illnesses do. Social isolation is so damaging. The judgments we make of people aren’t always right. I wanted to convey that in a story.'
Jo lives in the Peak District with her dog, Seth. She is currently writing her second novel.