Lauren Wilkinson grew up in New York City and lives in the Lower East Side. She earned her MFA in Fiction and Literary Translation from Columbia University and has taught writing at Columbia and the Fashion Institute of Technology. She has received writing fellowships from the Center for Fiction and the MacDowell Colony, and her fiction has appeared in Granta.
Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicities-political, racial, and sexual-bare. Packed with unforgettable characters, it's a stunning book, timely as it is timeless - Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The SelloutAmerican Spy is by turns suspenseful, tender, and funny, always smart and searingly honest. Lauren Wilkinson renders the world of spies with vivacity and depth, and shines a penetrating light on what it's like to be a black woman in America. But like all great novels, this one teaches us most about ourselves and our values - Sara Novic, author of Girl at WarThis unflinching debut combines the espionage novels of John le Carre with the racial complexity of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man - Publishers WeeklyMitchell is an engaging, complex protagonist: feisty and brave but also vulnerable. The scenes of New York and African life are sharply observed, the narrative often lyrical. This is an impressive debut, with a multi-faceted and engaging protagonist - Financial TimesA gutsy new thriller . . . challenging boundaries is what brave fiction does, and Wilkinson proves confident enough to carry it off - New York TimesLauren Wilkinson's intelligent and pacy debut set against the background of a real coup d'etat, injects new life into this tired formula... this is a complex, powerful story of divided loyalties, double consciousness and moral ambiguity - GuardianWilkinson paints a convincing and lively portrait of this fascinating real-life figure. A non-privileged protagonist in this poshest of genres is rare enough to make that the USP, but by any standards this is a fine thriller, thoughtful and drily witty, richly textured and, when required, pacy and very exciting - Daily Telegraph