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Born in Glasgow in 1961, Andrew Crumey grew up in Kirkintilloch and graduated with first class honours from St Andrews University. He moved to London in 1983 to do a PhD on dynamical systems and infinite dimensional algebras at Imperial College. Between 1986 and 1989 he was director of West London Nightline and care worker with Westminster Mencap, then returned to research, doing post-doctoral work on nonlinear systems at Imperial College and Leeds University. In 1992 he moved to Newcastle upon Tyne and worked as a schoolteacher for four years. He became a regular book reviewer for Scotland on Sunday in 1996 and was literary editor from 2000 to 2006. He subsequently lectured at Newcastle University, and in 2011 was visiting fellow at Durham University Institute of Advanced Study. He is currently senior lecturer in creative writing at Northumbria University.
His 1994 debut novel, Music, in a Foreign Language, won the Saltire First Book Award and was longlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize. Pfitz was a New York Times Notable Book, and D'Alembert's Principle was called in for the Booker Prize. Mr Mee was longlisted for both the Booker Prize and IMPAC Award and won a Scottish Arts Council book award. Mobius Dick was a finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize and was chosen by Waterstones for its "alternative Booker" shortlist. He won the £60,000 Northern Rock Foundation Writers Award for Sputnik Caledonia, which was also shortlisted for the James Tait Black Memorial Prize and Scottish Book of the Year, and longlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award. The Secret Knowledge, was nominated for the Man Booker Prize. Other prizes include an Arts Council Writer's Award and Northern Arts Writer's Award.