Her research interests are broad and include space and place in the novel with a particular interest in representations of the North, memoir, narratives of sickness, care and recovery, formal experiment in the essay, representations of religious experience, the contemporary ghost story and creative writing pedagogy.
Her first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. On the publication of her second, Cold Light she was featured on the BBC’s The Culture Show as one of the UK’s twelve best new writers. In 2019 she published a memoir-in-essays, Notes Made While Falling which was a New Statesman Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize. Her latest novel is Ghosted: A Love Story which was shortlisted for the Portico Prize. In 2022 her short story 'Flat 19' was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, an Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, an editor for Goldsmiths Press and the Professor of Writing at Lancaster University.