Philip Kerr


Philip Kerr was born in Edinburgh and read Law at university. He is the author of more than 30 books, including eleven Bernie Gunther novels, several standalone thrillers, and seven books in the young-adult series Children of the Lamp under the pen name of P.B. Kerr. In 2009, he won the British Crime Writers’ Association Ellis Peters Historical Fiction Award and Spain’s RBA International Prize for Crime Writing for his Bernie Gunther series. A former advertising copywriter who released his first book in 1989 and in 1993 was named one of Granta magazine’s Best Young British Novelists, he now divides his time between London and Cornwall.

Autobiography for Quais du Polar

He is very much not the author who you may be lucky enough to meet at the festival in Lyon. That is his avatar. The real Mr Kerr is misanthropic and never likes to go anywhere, least of all to talk about himself; the avatar is rather more gregarious and charming and has been charged with making Philip Kerr more interesting; hence he is also inclined to say provocative things and make jokes. Since Mr Kerr is from Edinburgh, the home of Robert Louis Stevenson who, the less ignorant of you will know, was the author of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde the idea of being two people is a source of great fascination to the real Mr Kerr who believes, strongly, that the business of promoting books requires that all writers should now have an authorial Persona and that this Persona has nothing to do with the writing of books which is, perforce, a solitary quiet endeavour requiring no social skills whatsoever (this is why Mr Kerrbecame a writer in the first place). Hence any quotations you receive from Mr Kerr’s Hyde figure – for that is how he sees this Persona – should be treated with extreme care.

Crime favourites

book : Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov.

movieChinatown, Roman Polanski.

authorRaymond Chandler.