Paul Sayer is an English novelist and a former psychiatric nurse whose first novel, The Comforts of Madness (1988), won the Constable trophy. His The Absolution Game (1993) was longlisted for the Booker Prize. He has also worked as a fellow for the Royal Literary Fund at Leeds and York Universities.
Paul Sayer was born in South Milford, near Leeds. Sayer has lived in and around York since the age of 18. He worked as a psychiatric nurse in Clifton Hospital in York while writing his first prizewinning novel.
The Comforts of Madness came out in 1988 and was based on Sayer's own experiences. It is a first-person account of a speechless, catatonic patient in a hospital therapy unit. The novel won the Whitbread for First Novel and the Book of the Year awards.
Since then, six more novels have appeared and been translated into ten languages.
After the release of Men in Anger, published in 1999, Sayer became disillusioned and gave up writing because of poor sales. But he soon went back to work. His most recent work is The Perils of Sanity (2021).
Paul Sayer has also represented England on a panel of next-generation writers at a Pen world congress in Canada, tutored for the Arvon Foundation, and contributed reviews and occasional features for the Sunday Times, the Times, the Independent, the Literary Review, Time Out, Nursing Standard, Nursing Times and others. Other acknowledgments of his work include a Society of Authors travel award and a Wingate Foundation scholarship.
Following a long-standing renal complaint, Sayer received a kidney transplant in 2011. That's why he has a keen concern for the subject of renal research and development.
Paul Sayer lives near York with his wife, Anne, a psychiatric nurse. They have a grown-up, married son.