Geraldine Bedell

Geraldine Bedell is a British novelist and writer for The Observer.

She drew wide public attention when she claimed she had been disinvited from a planned appearance at the first International Festival of Literature in Dubai, because her novel The Gulf Between Us featured a homosexual sheikh.[1][2] Writer Margaret Atwood cancelled her scheduled appearance but later retracted when she found out that Bedell had never been invited to the Festival nor had her book been banned.[3] Atwood subsequently made two virtual appearances at the Festival and appeared in person at the 2011 Festival.[4][5][6]


She is married to Charles Leadbeater and is the sister of Elaine Bedell,[7] a senior executive at ITV.

Bedell's first marriage was to banker Jon Norton, with whom she has two children. After their divorce, Norton married the Labour Party politician and minister Mo Mowlam in 1995. Mowlam died in 2005.


  • The Handmade House (Penguin, 2005)
  • The Gulf Between Us (Penguin, 2009)
  • Party Tricks (Hodder & Stoughton, 1996)
  • A Fabulous Fling (HarperCollins, 2000)


  1. ^ Caroline Gammell "British author Geraldine Bedell banned from Dubai book festival British author Geraldine Bedell has been banned from a book festival in Dubai because one of the characters in her new book is gay", Daily Telegraph, 16 February 2009.
  2. ^ Geraldine Bedell "The only offensive thing about my novel is that it's been banned", The Guardian (blog), 17 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Bedell never answered the letter of invitation in the first place". The Guardian.
  4. ^ "Palin, Atwood to headline Dubai literary fest". Emirates 24/7.
  5. ^ "Atwood wrongfully led to believe that a book by Geraldine Bedell had been banned both from the festival and the Emirates themselves". The Guardian.
  6. ^ Alison Flood "Atwood pulls out of Dubai festival in censorship protest", The Guardian, 18 February 2009.
  7. ^ "Media families 20: The Bedells", The Independent, 30 June 1997