Caroline Smailes

Novelist, academic, editor.

'Caroline Smailes and Will Self are arch-experimentalists.' Observer


Foreign Editions


Caroline Smailes' acclaimed debut novel, IN SEARCH OF ADAM, was published in 2007 (The Friday Project/HarperCollins). The Big Issue North declared the book 'an engrossing and touching read from a new talent'. Since then Caroline has written four additional novels. These include BLACK BOXES, international bestseller LIKE BEES TO HONEY, an experimental digital novel with eleven endings 99 REASONS WHY and modern day fairy tale THE DROWNING OF ARTHUR BRAXTON (all HarperCollins). The film of THE DROWNING OF ARTHUR BRAXTON is in post-production, with an expected winter 2020/21 release.

Caroline lives in Liverpool and is also known as Caroline Wallace (THE FINDING OF MARTHA LOST). She is head of book editing at BubbleCow and is currently a sessional lecturer in Creative Writing at LJMU.

Academic Research

In 2018, Caroline Smailes was awarded a three-year LJMU scholarship, under the 2018 LJMU PhD Scholarship Scheme.

Her current academic research is in two parts – a creative work, a novel, based on the life of Johanna Van Gogh-Bonger and a critical exploration of the ways in which women involved in creative pursuits, such as the visual arts, have disappeared from historical narratives. Rendered invisible, women once hovered like ghosts on the periphery of more notable male artists’ lives, rarely making their presence felt unless discovered and reimagined through contemporary feminist arts practice.

Caroline is currently posing a series of creative and critical questions about the nature of female agency in art movements in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries, arguing that long before first wave feminism, women were key contributors to modernist ideas. What is needed, she is asking, to bring their stories to the fore of their times?