Although born in The Hague in The Netherlands, and having lived in Australia since he was seven, Michel Faber has lived in Scotland since 1993 and is generally considered to be a Scottish author. He retains a Dutch passport, having rejected pleas to become a British citizen.
Faber studied Dutch, Philosophy, Rhetoric, English Language and Literature at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1980. He later trained as a nurse. He has been writing since he was 14, but did not win success with his short stories until the 1990s. His first book, the short story collection, Some Rain Must Fall, was published in 1998. His first novel, Under the Skin, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel award, although early drafts of The Crimson Petal and the White pre-date this by nearly 20 years. Faber’s novels span time and space and cannot easily be categorised: from the Scottish Highlands of Under the Skin to the depths of Victorian London in his bestseller The Crimson Petal and the White, and most recently to contemporary Iraq in The Fire Gospel, part of Canongate’s Myths series.
He has won numerous Scottish literary prizes, including the Macallan Short Story Competition, The Neil Gunn Prize, and the Saltire First Book of the Year Award.
Faber now lives in the Scottish Highlands with his family. He reviews books for The Guardian and continues to write.