Birkett is a writer and broadcaster
My books began as travel writing, but it was travel which
involved very little movement. I’m interested in travelling
communities that go nowhere – the crew on a cargo ship,
the performers in a circus, and the few remaining inhabitants
of Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific. The surrounding landscape
may change, but the people in my books always remain the same.
It’s the same cast of characters from the beginning to
the end of my journey.
Books are the backbone of my work. But day to day journalism provides the immediate gratification. I’m particularly
interested in uncomfortable social issues – bullies, false
accusers, criminal children among them.
My weekly Guardian column – Travelling with Kids –
has huge reader feedback, which is very satisfying and is
the subject of the site's FORUM.
in Museums Campaign, the result of one of these
columns, is now in its second year.