amy arnold


Amy Arnold was born in Oxford in 1974. She studied Neuropsychology at Birmingham University and has worked in a variety of jobs from packing swedes to teaching and lecturing. She lives in Cumbria, and in 2018 was awarded the inaugural Northern Book Prize for her debut novel, Slip of a Fish.

More Info

  • As part of the Read Regional campaign, Amy will be discussing her debut novel, Slip of a Fish, on a number of dates starting at Pontefract Library on 13th May. You can find more information here.


Chris Power
New Statesman

'Slip of a Fish commits itself absolutely to portraying a troubled state characterised by obsessive involution . . . the fact that [it renounces] the traditional pleasures of narrative is a marker of [its] achievement.'

Will Smith
Cumbria Life

A beautiful, complex, enticing work of literary fiction, at its capacious heart Amy Arnold’s book is an evasive delight.'

Yvette Huddleston
Yorkshire Post

'Dazzling in its originality and courageous in its form and content, the writing is experimental in the sense that it tests the reader's expectations and preconceptions. The rewards are many.'

C D Rose
Times Literary Supplement

‘With the coiled compactness and intensity of a short story, Slip of a Fish is a strange and original novel.’

Stevie Davies
The Guardian

'Original, ambitious and challenging'

Rebecca Watson
White Review

‘Arnold’s impressive debut is strange and dexterous ... [she] has an ability to capture on the page a complex, obsessive mind without veering into pretention or convolution.’

Sarah Gilmartin
Irish Times

‘[An] absorbing' debut…an impressive portrait of motherhood, loss and fragility.'

Clare Mulley
The Skinny

‘…Few novels achieve the delicate shimmer Arnold's poetic prose evokes in the mind – a cool-warm, unsettling and very beautiful new voice.’

Emma Yates-Badley
Northern Soul

‘A fascinating portrait of motherhood, tackling themes of identity and love and loss, but makes no grand assumptions or assertions… a beautifully written novel, almost lyric in its cadence.’

Anna Caig
Sheffield Telegraph

‘At its heart Slip of a Fish is a novel about the passage of time .. Nothing makes us face up [to time] more vividly than our growing children.’

Kirsty Gunn

'How many writers really attend to the quality of sentences when they make their fiction? To the heft and jiggle of words on a line? To the texture of phrasing, the fillip of some unexpected syntax or the steady rounds of sound? Not many. But here's one who does. '

Helen Mort

'A rich, linguistically dextrous portrait of how our inner and outer worlds collide. Slip of a Fish is a startling and inventive debut.'

Claire Malcolm, Ian McMillan, Conor O’Callaghan, Tara Tobler
Northern Book Prize Judges' Praise

‘A fearless test of empathy, a tender sounding of a mind long since overgrown, and a disturbingly sensual work with a prose that skitters, sinks, hooks, pulls, resists, and flips high in gorgeous blinding flashes, Slip of a Fish heralds the arrival of a stunning new voice in English fiction.’

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