Viktoria LLoyd-Barlow

Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow (she/her) received a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kent and has extensive personal, professional, and academic experience relating to autism. Like her protagonist, Sunday Forrester, in All the Little Bird-Hearts, Viktoria is autistic. She has presented her doctoral research internationally, most recently speaking at Harvard University on autism and literary narrative. Viktoria lives with her husband and children on the coast of north-east Kent. This is her first novel.

A page-turning psychological drama, All the Little Bird-Hearts is an extraordinary, often witty glimpse into the mind of an autistic woman─and a remarkable debut by an author who is herself autistic. It is also an astute portrait of a woman coming to terms with the meaning of love, of motherhood, and of authenticity, and a poignant reminder about why accepting ourselves can be so freeing. 

I am currently working at a full-time job, but if I ever go back to writing, this would be my view. We can see seals and boats and kite-surfers from our house; sometimes the sea is black and sometimes it is glittering and bright blue. We have been renovating for several years, but the ever-changing view makes it worth the ongoing dust and chaos! 

I always have at least one non-fiction read and one novel on the go; currently I am reading Empire of Normalcy by Robert Chapman, a fascinating study of neurodiversity and capitalism.

Fiction wise, I am reading The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides which is a strange and beautiful book. I would highly recommend both reads.

Joyful, sorrowful and original.

This is too exciting an opportunity for me to choose only one, so I am going to have two lunch guests – Shirley Jackson and David Sedaris.

We make this banana bread at home a lot: it isn’t beautiful, but it is free from added sugar/butter/oil. And it’s also delicious! My youngest daughter is studying to become a nutritionist, and we like experimenting with recipes together to make them as healthy as possible.

3 large eggs
3 squishy mashed bananas
1/4 cup sugar-free applesauce (it is difficult to find unsweetened applesauce in the UK, so I use apple baby food!)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup erythritol
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp chopped walnuts

Combine mixed wet ingredients with dry ingredients and bake for approximately 30 minutes at 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit).

Audio Excerpt – All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow