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Atkinson signing books at the Edinburgh International Book Festival (August 2007)
20 December 1951 |
York, England, United Kingdom
|Alma mater||University of Dundee|
Kate Atkinson, MBE (born 20 December 1951) is an award-winning English writer. She won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in 1995 and, under its new name the Costa Book Awards, in 2013 and 2015 in the Novels category.
Atkinson was born in York, the daughter of a shopkeeper. She studied English literature at the University of Dundee, gaining her master's degree in 1974. Atkinson subsequently studied for a doctorate in American literature, entitled "The post-modern American short story in its historical context". She has often spoken publicly that she failed at the viva (oral examination) stage. After leaving the university, she took on a variety of jobs from home help to legal secretary and teacher.
Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year and went on to be a Sunday Times bestseller. Since then, she has published another nine novels, one play, and one collection of short stories. A series of four novels, starting with Case Histories, has featured the character of Jackson Brodie as a private investigator and former police inspector.
Her work is often celebrated[by whom?] for its wit, wisdom and subtle characterisation, and the surprising twists and plot turns. She has frequently criticised the media's coverage of her work – when she won the Whitbread award, for example, it was the fact that she was a "single mother" who lived outside London that received the most attention.
In March 2010, Atkinson appeared at the York Literature Festival, giving a world-premier reading from an early chapter from her novel Started Early, Took My Dog (2010), which is set mainly in the English city of Leeds.
- Behind the Scenes at the Museum (1995) – winner of the 1995 Whitbread first novel and Book of the Year Prize
- Human Croquet (1997)
- Emotionally Weird (2000)
- Life After Life (2013) – winner of the 2013 Costa novel award
- A God in Ruins (2015) – winner of the 2015 Costa novel award
Novels featuring Jackson Brodie
- Case Histories (2004)
- One Good Turn (2006)
- When Will There Be Good News? (2008)
- Started Early, Took My Dog (2010)
- Abandonment (2000)
- Not the End of the World (2002)
Awards and honours
- 1995 Whitbread Awards (Book of the Year), Behind the Scenes at the Museum
- 2009 Crime Thriller Award for The CWA Gold Dagger: When Will There Be Good News? (nominated)
- 2009 British Book Awards, Richard and Judy Bookclub Winner, When Will There Be Good News?
- 2013 Costa Book Awards (Novel category), Life After Life
- 2014 Walter Scott Prize shortlist for Life After Life
- 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Life after Life 
- 2015 Costa Book Awards (Novel category), A God In Ruins 
- Brown, Helen (29 August 2004). "A writer's life: Kate Atkinson". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 March 2014.
- "Ox-Tales". Oxfam. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- "No. 59808". The London Gazette (Supplement). 11 June 2011. p. 13.
- "Kate Atkinson". Fantasticfiction.co.uk. Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Elavsky, Cindy (12 March 2015). "Celebrity Extra". King Features. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Nellie Andreeva. "Shonda Rhimes Teams Up With British TV showrunner Julie Annie Robinson For ‘The Long Game’ - Deadline". Deadline. Retrieved 9 May 2015.
- [dead link] Allen, Kate (7 September 2009). "Coben, Cole, Atkinson vie for crime awards". The Bookseller. Archived from the original on 10 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009.
- "Former winners recapture Costa prize". BBC News. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 6 January 2014.
- "Walter Scott Prize Shortlist 2014". Walter Scott Prize. 4 April 2014. Retrieved 27 May 2014.
- "South Bank Sky Arts Awards – Winners 2014". West End Theatre. Retrieved 18 February 2015.
- "Costa Book Awards" (PDF). Costa Novel Award Winner 2015. Costa Coffee. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- Ian Rankin Archived 1 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. No. 1 Magazine, Retrieved 24 February 2014
- Official website
- Kate Atkinson at British Council: Literature
- One Good Turn Reviews at Metacritic
- Kate Atkinson at the Internet Book List
- Kate Atkinson on IMDb
- Kate Atkinson talking about One Good Turn at MeetTheAuthor.co.uk
- John Mullan talks to Kate Atkinson about Behind the Scenes at the Museum for The Guardian Book Club podcast