A Literal Girl


About Me

I’m a writer from California, currently based in Oxford, England, where I’ve lived since 2008. I’m working towards a PhD in cultural geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, looking at the geographies of lap swimming and the indoor swimming pool. For fun I like reading, eating cheese, drinking beer, and swimming (although not usually in that order).

My first book, a series of linked essays about music, myths, and making a living, was released by Unbound in Spring 2013. You can buy it here (or here or here or here or quite possibly in your local bookshop…you get the idea).

Please feel free to email me or say hello on Twitter.

Some (sort of) frequently asked questions…

Can I hire you? Can you write something for [delete as appropriate: me/my blog/my publication/my company]?

Yes, probably! Learn more…

How did you end up in England?

The really short version: I had always wanted to visit Oxford, I visited Oxford, I met a man in a pub on my first night here, and now we live together. The long version could probably fill a book.

Why “A Literal Girl”? What does it mean?

No one has ever actually asked me this, but I sort of wish they would, so here’s the answer to the question that no one’s ever asked: the name of my blog comes, in a very roundabout way, from Ernest Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast.

When I was in high school a friend of mine started a band and one night he asked me if I had any suggestions about what to call it. He was also an ex-boyfriend so I wanted to impress him by being hip and literary. I started flipping through A Moveable Feast, and I got to the bit about the lost generation, where Gertrude Stein calls Hemingway “a very literal boy”, and I thought, what a nice line. I don’t know why I thought that – it wasn’t a good band name and I wasn’t a boy. But I changed my AOL screen name (remember those days?) to “a literal girl” anyway. I was 16, and it stuck, and now here I am, with a blog named after a misquoted line of text.

I’m new here, what should I read first?

Try these:
- The Dissolving Mirror
- A Short Personal History of Cameras
- Sunday Rant: The Internet is Not the Enemy
- Natural High
- 7 Ways of Looking at Belonging
- Out of Nairobi
- Still Being Human
- This is Not a Pep Talk
- The Ongoing Story

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About Miranda Ward

California-born, UK-based author and PhD student.
Miranda Ward


My Book


Grand old tree in Christ Church MeadowWales, last weekend.uploadIce like contour linesuploaduploaduploadWoke up to this. #walesupload