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|Born||1950/1951 (age 62–63)
|Occupation||writer, broadcaster, critic|
Sarah Dunant (born 1950 or 1951) is a writer, broadcaster and critic. She was a founding vice patron of the Orange Prize for women's fiction, sits on the editorial board of the Royal Academy magazine, and reviews for The Times, The Guardian, and The Independent on Sunday. She teaches creative writing at The Faber Academy in London and biennially at Washington University in St. Louis in its Renaissance studies course. She is also a creative writing fellow at Oxford Brookes University. She has two daughters and lives in London and Florence.
Dunant was born in London. She attended Godolphin and Latymer School and studied history at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was heavily involved in theatre and the Footlights review. After a brief spell working for the BBC she spent much of her twenties traveling (Japan, India, Asia and Central and South America) before starting to write. Her first two novels, along with a BBC television series, were written with a friend. After this she went solo.
Since then she has written ten novels, three screenplays and edited two books of essays. She has worked in television and radio as a producer and presenter: most notably for BBC Television where for seven years (1989–1996) she presented the live nightly culture programme The Late Show. After that she presented the BBC Radio 3 radio programme Night Waves.
Sarah Dunant's work ranges over a number of genres and eras. Her narratives are hard to categorise due to their inventive treatment of time and space, and a favoured device of hers is to run two or more plot strands concurrently, as she does in Mapping the Edge. A common concern running through her work is women's perceptions and points of view, with other themes included.
Her first eight novels were broadly written within a thriller form. Their setting was contemporary and allowed her to explore such themes such as the drug trade, surrogacy, terrorism, animals rights, cosmetic surgery and sexual violence. Then in 2000 an extended visit to Florence rekindled her first love: History. The novels which followed were extensively researched historical explorations of what it was like to be a woman within the Italian Renaissance. The trilogy looked at marriage, the culture of courtesans and the life of cloistered nuns. They were all international best sellers and were translated into over 30 languages.
Her most recent book Blood and Beauty, to be published in 2013, is a novel which centres on a depiction of Italy's Borgia dynasty. It sets out to offer a historically accurate vision of a family who have been much maligned by history. Dunant states in her afterword that she plans to write a second, concluding novel, about the family.
- Exterminating Angels (co-written with Peter Busby as Peter Dunant), 1984
- Intensive Care (co-written with Peter Busby as Peter Dunant), 1986
- Snow Storms in a Hot Climate, 1988
- Birthmarks, 1991
- Fatlands, 1993
- The War of the Words: The Political Correctness Debate, 1994
- Under My Skin, 1995
- The Age of Anxiety, 1997
- Transgressions, 1997
- Mapping the Edge, 1999
- The Birth of Venus, 2003
- In the Company of the Courtesan, 2006
- Sacred Hearts, 2009
- Blood and Beauty, 2013
- 1993 Silver Dagger Award, for Crime Fiction, winner, Fatlands
- 2010 Walter Scott Prize, for historical fiction, shortlist, Sacred Hearts
|“||decades of financial scandal and particularly sexual abuse have exposed a level of moral decay which, if it were a democratically elected government or even a global corporation, would see voters or shareholders expressing public revulsion and fury. (...) Faced with an Augean stables, [Pope] Francis chose not to move into the infested area, lending credibility to rumours of sex and blackmail inside the Vatican. Shocking perhaps, but is any one out there really surprised?||”|
Sarah Dunant believes the Roman Catholic Church needs to reform, to deal with wide-ranging problems. Dunant believes modernising one area of Roman Catholicism may lead to an unstoppable movement to modernise more. 
Dunant believes the teachers of her generation inspired girls to achieve as good an education as boys. 
- Stanford, Peter (31 March 2006). "Sarah Dunant: Renaissance woman". The Independent. "Dunant, 55"
- Smith, Dinitia (20 April 2004). "A Tale Born of Voices Echoing on Ancient Walls". The New York Times. "Dunant, 53"
- Flood, Alison (2 April 2010). "Booker rivals clash again on Walter Scott prize shortlist". The Guardian.
- A Point of View: The road ahead for the Catholic Church
- Sarah Dunant: Tribute to Teachers
- Sarah Dunant's website
- Transcript of interview with Ramona Koval, The Book Show, ABC Radio National, 15 April 2007
- Sarah Dunant at British Council: Literature
- Sarah Dunant interview from Open2.net
- Listen to an audio slideshow interview with Sarah Dunant talking about Sacred Hearts on The Interview Online
- Sarah is now a Fellow on the MA in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes University