Alba Arikha is the author of four books: Muse and Walking on Ice, published by Macmillan in 1998 and 2000. Her memoir, Major/Minor, about her adolescence in Paris, was published by Quartet Books in 2011. It was shortlisted for the Spear’s awards, selected among the best books of 2012 by the New Yorker, and recently came out as a paperback.
Her last book, a narrative poem, Soon, was set to music and performed as an opera at the Riverside Studios, London. Her new novel, Where To Find Me, will be published by Alma Books in 2018.
Alba has been teaching creative writing for several years. She’s worked with adolescents, at the Royal Academy of Art, where she taught a workshop about portraits and writing, also for Haringey Literature Live and at Columbia University, where she was Adjunct Assistant Professor in Spring 2017. She has been involved with Guardian masterclasses since 2015, teaching classes on short fiction.
In addition to her books, Alba has written for Tatler, IQ magazine, The New Republic and is a regular contributor to Spear’s magazine and to Radio 4. She is also a singer songwriter, has performed in London and Paris and has recorded two CDs.
Stories in Paintings proved to be a fascinating way from which to approach writing. Using paintings as our prompts, Alba was able to use her passion for art to guide us to thinking more about the depth in our writing. From exploring the complexities of our characters, to the visualisation of their environments. Alba showed us how using our pens instead of brushes we could make our characters and places come alive in the minds of our readers, giving them a physical presence on the page. Alba was a very inspiring and thoughtful course leader. Her feedback on our writing was insightful and I would recommend this course to anyone looking to add real depth to their writing.
Jude, Stories in Paintings student