MartinDr. Heather Martin received her BA in Modern Languages at women-only Murray Edwards College (then New Hall) in Cambridge before joining St John’s College as part of the first cohort of female students for my postgraduate degree. Her PhD was written on French and Spanish poetry between the two World Wars, focusing on the semiotics of place in the writing of Federico García Lorca, Luis Cernuda, Henri Michaux, and Pierre Reverdy. Dr. Martin's tenured lectureship was in the Department of Spanish at the University of Hull, where the emphasis was on language teaching, which then led to a tenured position as lecturer and admissions tutor in the Department of Hispanic Studies at King’s College London. There, she taught a wide range of literary texts, including the work of Spanish writers Gabriel Miró, Camilo José Cela, and Carmen Laforet, alongside Latin Americans Octavio Paz, Juan Rulfo, and Jorge Luis Borges.

While raising her children, she shifted to freelance work and a series of short-term contracts at Cambridge University. Dr. Martin was later invited to teach at independent primary St Faith’s School in Cambridge, and was subsequently appointed head of languages. At St Faith’s, Dr. Martin took an innovative, ambitious approach, whereby language was taught not only by traditional methods in the languages classroom, through grammar and games and song, but also, for older pupils, through delivery of the Humanities curriculum in Spanish. Four of the nine-year-olds within Dr. Martin's remit won first prize in a Spanish-language short-film competition on a green theme run by the Spanish Embassy, competing against all ages from primary to university.

After stepping away from school teaching, Dr. Martin decided to concentrate on creative writing, accepting a freelance position with a major multilingual research project funded by the AHRC at Cambridge. This involved ghosting the individual language stories of a diverse group of people, including prominent public figures such as Bridget Kendall, Carrie Gracie, Stephen Kinnock, and Martina Navratilova. Concurrently, she had begun research on the biography of Lee Child, working closely with the author, having initially advised him, at his request, on the Spanish translations of his novels. A one-year appointment as visiting scholar at City University New York facilitated the completion of this project; during this time Dr. Martin also led the Lee Child Seminars (‘Text, Film, Crime’) for the university’s academic outreach program, and on return visits to the UK, had exclusive access to Child’s literary papers at the British Archive for Contemporary Writing at the University of East Anglia. Since publishing The Reacher Guy in September 2020, Heather has written extensively on related topics, and participated in, among other events, the Stratford, Raworths, and Hay Literary Festivals. The UEA archive will be formally opened to the public in March 2022, coinciding with a two-day Lee Child Symposium, for which the writer himself will be present and Dr. Martin will deliver a paper.

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