Travel writer and author of
Looking For Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria
Noo Saro-Wiwa is an author and journalist. Born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, and raised in England, she attended King's College London and Columbia University in New York.
She writes for Condé Nast Traveller magazine, and has contributed book reviews, travel, opinion and analysis articles for The Guardian newspaper, The Financial Times, The Times Literary Supplement, City AM, Chatham House and The New York Times, among others.
Her first book, Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria (Granta), was published to critical acclaim in 2012. Her second book, Black Ghost, explores the African community in China and will be published by Canongate in 2023.
Looking for Transwonderland was selected as BBC Radio 4’s Book of the Week in 2012, and was named The Sunday Times Travel Book of the Year, 2012. Shortlisted for the Author’s Club Dolman Travel Book of the Year Award in 2013, Looking for Transwonderland was also nominated by The Financial Times as one of the best travel books of 2012. The Guardian newspaper included it among its 10 Best Contemporary Books on Africa in 2012.
In 2020, National Geographic included Looking For Transwonderland
in its list of notable 'road trips' books. In the same year Oprah magazine rated it among its top travel books, and it featured among The Guardian's 10 of the best road trips to take by audiobook.
The New York Public Library selected Looking For Transwonderland as one of 365 notable books written by female authors, as part of International Women's Day celebrations in 2017.
Primary Source, a non-profit organisation that works to advance global education in primary and secondary schools, selected Looking for Transwonderland as its annual Global Read title for teachers throughout the United States.
The book has been translated into French and Italian, and in 2016 it won the Albatros Travel Literature Prize in Italy.
Noo was awarded a Miles Morland Scholarship for non-fiction writing in 2015. The following year she contributed stories to the anthology An Unreliable Guide to London (Influx Press, 2016); A Place of Refuge (Unbound, 2016), an anthology of writing on asylum seekers; and La Felicità Degli Uomini Semplici, an Italian-language anthology based around football. Her short non-fiction story about Africans living in China is featured in the Daughters of Africa anthology (Myriad Editions, 2019).
In 2018 Noo was among the judges for the Jhalak Prize for literature, and Condé Nast Traveler Magazine named her one of "The World's 30 Most Influential Female Travellers".
In 2019 Noo was a Rockefeller Foundation Arts & Literary Arts Fellow at the Bellagio Center in Italy. She was also awarded a residency by the Civitella Ranieri Foundation in 2021.
She lives in London and supports Liverpool FC.