Esther Freud

Last updated 09 January 2020

Esther Freud

Born: Thursday 2nd May 1963 (age: 60)


Esther Freud  is a British novelist.

Born in London, Freud is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud and Bernadine Coverley and is a great-granddaughter of Sigmund Freud. She travelled extensively with her mother as a child, and returned to London at the age of sixteen to train as an actress at The Drama Centre. 

She has worked in television and theatre as both actress and writer. Her first credited television appearance, though inauspicious, was as a terrifed diner in The Bill in 1984, running frantically out of a Chinese restaurant after it had received a bombscare. A year later she appeared as an alien in the Doctor Who serial Attack of the Cybermen.

Her novels include the semi-autobiographical Hideous Kinky, which was adapted into a film starring Kate Winslet. She is also the author of The Wild, Gaglow, The Sea House. She also wrote the foreword for The Summer Book by Tove Jansson.

Freud was named as one of the 20 'Best of Young British Novelists' by Granta magazine in 1993. Her novels have been translated into thirteen languages. She is also the co-founder (with Kitty Aldridge) of the women's theatre company Norfolk Broads.

In 2009, she donated the short story Rice Cakes and Starbucks to Oxfam's 'Ox-Tales' project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the 'Water' collection.