Sophie Roell

Sophie Roell is editor and one of the founders of Five Books. Previously she worked as a journalist in London, Beijing, Shanghai and New York. As a financial reporter, she covered the early years of the Chinese stock markets and the transition of its economy after Deng Xiaoping’s 1992 tour of the south. She reported on the North Korean economy in 2001.

She studied modern history as an undergraduate at Oxford and, after travelling the world as a reporter for five years, took the Master’s in Regional Studies-East Asia at Harvard University.  This wonderfully flexible program insists on at least one East Asian language and some courses on East Asia, but leaves plenty of room to roam about the university taking courses on random subjects.

It was hard to go back to a proper job after that and Five Books, set up in 2009, is her attempt to be a grad student forever (without the stress of having to write a PhD).