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The official website of the author of twelve novels

and a play that's never been performed.





Peter Benson published his first novel, THE LEVELS, in 1987. Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Author's Club First Novel Award, it announced the arrival of a unique and distinctive voice. His subsequent books established him as a writer who refuses to accept literary norms - none of his novels bears a thematic, generic or stylistic relationship to the others - but each is written in a cryptic, understated and elegiac style.

Benson also writes copyproduct reviews and letters of complaint.

Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Benson 1.jpg
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
Peter Benson writer novel
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Peter Benson took his first photograph in 1965 on a Zorki 4. This photograph, taken from the fourth floor window of a Moscow flat, was a street scene featuring three soldiers smoking cigarettes. Since then, Benson has owned eleven still cameras and a number of lenses. He specialises in photographing street-found objects, including boats, umbrellas, bicycles, socks, gates, pools, windows, hats, footwear, gloves, garden rollers and food.

Benson also works in fields.



Peter Benson made his first movie in 1968 with a Eumig C3 8mm camera on double 8 stock. Influenced by Robert Bresson and Jean-Pierre Melville, his minimalist style was ignored by his parents and ridiculed by his friends. Undeterred, he changed his name to Cezar Voiculescu and went on to make a series of trailers that promised much but delivered nothing. Filmed in upstate New York, SHACK is the latest example of his attempt to produce something. Benson also films in colour.



Peter Benson painted his first picture (Des œufs) in 1958, and made his first thing (Un garage en bois) in 1962. Since then, he has made twenty three things every year (sauf en 1977, quand il était sur une retraite silencieuse spécialiste). He currently focuses on creating painted works that explore the relationship between abstract expressionism and the essential unreality of language. His sculptures are temporal insights into the essence of northern spirits, and are inspired by the limits of chaos. Benson also makes baskets.

L'inutilité du blanc
L'inutilité de la boussole
L'inutilité des vaches
Pointez votre doigt de bois sur ma coquille
Étoile de mer J'aime ton flanc de bois
Qu'est-ce qui est arrivé?
La planche
Le petit panier à bûches
Deux paniers attendent sur la planche


Peter Benson was born in 1956, in Vienna. His parents worked for the British FO, and by the age of sixteen he had lived in fourteen countries, visited twenty six and been introduced to two Queens, five Presidents and a Pope. Educated by private tutors until the age of eighteen, in 1974 he won a place to read History and Politics at the University of Edinburgh.


He left Edinburgh in 1975, took a job on a farm in Lincolnshire, and spent the following eight years working at a series of agricultural jobs. In 1983, following a motorcycle accident, he took a job in a basketmaking workshop in Somerset - this inspired him to write his first novel, THE LEVELS, which was published in 1987.


His subsequent books have established him as one of the least read English novelists of his generation. He has also worked as a copywriter and bargee.


           For some enquiries, please contact Seren Books:

    Tel: +44 (0)1656 663018 |



Bacalhau de assinatura de Benson e espinafre em filo

Um prato de purê de batata com noz-moscada

Um prato consumido de bagas, sorvete e chocolate liso


Peter Benson was taught habilidades de cozinha by Portuguese new wave chef António Eduardo Rocha Cruz, and worked for three years as sous-chef at Coma Bacalhau, Rocha Cruz's Lisbon restaurant. His caldeirada was hailed as "ready to give bouillabaisse a run for its money" while his bacalhau com todos "elevates this simple dish to something niche".

Benson also bakes bolo de mel.

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