Anna Perera was born in London to a Sri Lankan, Buddhist father and Irish, Catholic mother who was a graduate of University College, Dublin and supported her four young children by teaching after he died when she was eight. Anna also went into teaching and worked in two secondary schools in London and ran a unit for teenage boys excluded from school and later did an MA in Writing For Children.
Personal stories about big subjects are the ones that interest her and when she attended a gig for the charity, Reprieve.org at The Globe Theatre in 2006 and learnt children had been abducted and rendered to Guantanamo Bay, the event became the inspiration for the critically acclaimed novel, Guantanamo Boy, which has been translated into a dozen languages and nominated for many awards, including shortlisting for The Costa Childrens Book Award. The bestseller was adapted into a successful play with a sell-out national tour.
Her latest YA novel, The Glass Collector, tells the story of 15 year old Aaron and his life in the slums of present day Egypt. It was nominated for the Carnegie Medal and other awards.