Kate Smith was born in Essex in 1974, and grew up on the Isle of Wight. After studying English Literature at Cambridge University, where she wrote and performed comedy sketches as part of Footlights’ Smokers, she qualified as a lawyer. A short stint as a barrister was followed by a longer one as a solicitor.
Kate now lectures in Tort Law at BPP University in London and writes comedy with a partner for television and radio. She recently completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, obtaining a distinction and the Michael Schmidt Prize. She lives in Hove with her partner, their son, a chocolate Labrador and an angst-ridden cat.
Her debut novel, The Negligents, was published by Valley Press in June 2018.
“Their story started there, bang in the middle of nothing, over and over again.” – read the opening chapters now.
A tragic yet humorous coming-of-age story, The Negligents plots the flailing friendship between Polina and Grace and their troubled families. The fascinating intricacies of their lives are seen from multiple viewpoints as an interwoven series of scenes unfold, but who is telling the truth and who has secrets yet to reveal?
As a former lawyer, author Kate Smith is fascinated by legal constructs, turning them upside down and inside out to shed light on the messy business of being alive. In this, her debut novel, she uses the framework of a legal negligence claim to explore the nature of friendship, of family loyalty and how a simple act of carelessness can have deeply toxic consequences.
‘This is a beautifully-written novel. It's sharp, wise and deeply moving. I love Kate Smith's writing'
– Robert Thorogood, creator of the BBC TV series Death in Paradise
'Kate Smith threads comedy through tenderness and makes it work.'
– Rachel Genn, author of The Cure
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