Mathilde Grandjean

Profession: Writer and journalist, failed scientist, wannabe artist

Tell us about you: I’m a French writer who moved to the UK in May 2020/COVID year 0. I have just completed an NCTJ diploma with News Associates in Manchester and am gearing up for a career in reporting. I like adding books to a to-read pile I could never realistically go through had I three lifetimes ahead of me. I spent most of my childhood frantically sketching and scribbling and I’m pretty sure this is the way to happiness – so I’m trying to do it again as an adult, minus the crippling perfectionism and self-doubt. All I need now is a pair of cats.

What inspires you? Sci-fi story-weavers and thinker-gatherers (Donna Haraway, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, Nalo Hopkinson, to name but a few…). Monsters and mystics, intergenerational hauntings, humanimal bodies, forests, and cyborgs. My partner’s ability to alchemize old, sad-looking fridge scraps into fragrant gourmet dishes.

What do you love about where you live? People have accents that make English sound alien again. Also, colder weather means cosier pubs and cafés.

What’s your favourite hangout? Cozy pubs and cafés! Also: antique shops and thick woodlands.

What would your superpower be? This probably isn’t the right word for it, but I want to say: super-multilingualism – the power to pick up and partake in any kind of language or communication system, human and non-human. So, I could turn my hand to British Sign Language to Arabic to using echolocation with bats and whales, colour changing and gesturing with octopuses, chemical and electrical signalling with fungi, plants, and machines… Which means I’d probably have to turn into some sort of cyborgian chimaera of animals and vegetation. And I can’t quite imagine what that would be like – yet.

Tell us a secret. I have played each of The Last of Us video games three times now and I want to have a go at it again. Somebody help me.


Twitter: @mathilda_joan

Instagram: @mathildaxjoan