Melissa Benn is a writer, journalist and campaigner. She was educated at Holland Park comprehensive and the London School of Economics, where she read history. Her early jobs included working at the National Council for Civil Liberties and as a researcher, under Professor Stuart Hall, at the Open University.
Benn's journalism has appeared in numerous newspapers and magazines including the Guardian, the Independent, The Times, Marxism Today, the London Review of Books, Cosmopolitan, Public Finance and the New Statesman. She is a regular contributor to the Guardian and a columnist and blogger for Public Finance magazine.
Benn has written five books, including two novels: Public Lives (1995), and One of Us (2008) which was shortlisted for Waterstone's New Writer of the Year award in 2008 and selected for the Richard and Judy book club. Her non-fiction works include Madonna and Child: Towards a New Politics of Motherhood (1998); Education and Democracy, co-edited with Clyde Chitty (2004) and most recently, School Wars: The Battle for Britain's Education (2011).
In 1998, the Guardian included her in a list of Britain's leading feminist writers. A regular speaker and broadcaster, Melissa Benn has written and presented several Radio Four programmes, been a guest on Woman's Hour, Saturday Live, A Good Read, Richard and Judy, the Sky Book Show and Sky news programme, and was one of several writers featured in a one hour special on the representation of politics in the arts and fiction on Radio Four. She lives in north west London with her husband and two daughters.