I’m a writer from Dublin, Ireland. My first book, Hidden City: Adventures and Explorations in Dublin, a highly acclaimed travelogue that surveyed Ireland’s capital in the aftermath of the economic crash, was published by Penguin in 2014. It was made a Guardian book of the week. My second book, Hit Factories: A Journey Through the Industrial Cities of British Pop, a personal exploration of the musical and social history of urban Britain, was published in June 2019 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. (It was also a Guardian book of the week.)

I contribute to the Irish Times, the Guardian, the Times Literary Supplement and the London Review of Books, and have had essays published in the White Review, Dublin Review and Gorse. Subjects I have written about include: the agoraphobic advertising man who recorded the sounds of mid-twentieth century New York; the long, slow death of the British estate pub; and the underground fire smouldering beneath a golf course in Gateshead.

In 2013 I won the John Heygate Award for travel writing, and in 2019 the Irish Times listed me as one of the top ten rising stars of Ireland’s literary scene. I was a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow between 2020 and 2023, and work as an editor for Penguin Classics. I hold a BA in English and History from University College Dublin, an MA in Modernism from University of East Anglia, and a PhD in History from University College Dublin.

Contact me at karl@karlwhitney.ie. You can also follow me on Twitter @karlwhitney, on Mastodon, on Facebook, and on Instagram.