Lynne Reid Banks

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lynne Reid Banks
Born (1929-07-31) 31 July 1929 (age 93)
London, England
Notable works

Lynne Reid Banks (born 31 July 1929) is a British author of books for children and adults.

She has written forty-eight books, including the best-selling children's novel The Indian in the Cupboard, which has sold over 15 million copies and has been successfully adapted to film.[2] Her first novel, The L-Shaped Room, published in 1960,[3] was an instant and lasting best seller. It was later made into a movie of the same name and led to two sequels, The Backward Shadow and Two is Lonely. Banks also wrote a biography of the Brontë family, entitled Dark Quartet, and a sequel about Charlotte Brontë, Path to the Silent Country.


Banks was born in London, the only child of James and Muriel Reid Banks. She was evacuated to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada during World War II, and returned after the war was over. She attended St Teresa's School Effingham in Surrey. Before becoming a writer, Banks was an actress, and also worked as a television journalist in Britain, one of the first women to do so.[4]

In 1962, Banks emigrated to Israel, where she taught for eight years on a kibbutz, Yas'ur. In 1965, she married Chaim Stephenson (1926–2016), a sculptor, with whom she had three sons.[5] She lives in Shepperton, Surrey, UK.[6]

Although the family returned to England in 1971, the influence of her time in Israel can be seen in some of her books (including One More River and its sequel, Broken Bridge, and other books, such as An End to Running and Children at the Gate) which are set partially or mainly on kibbutzim.

In October 2013, Banks won the J. M. Barrie award for outstanding contribution to children's arts.[7]


Children's novels[edit]

  • Angela and Diabola (1997)
  • Alice-By-Accident (2000)
  • Tiger, Tiger (2005)
  • Bad Cat Good Cat, illus. Tony Ross (2011)
  • Ella and her bad Yellow T-Shirt, illus. Omri Stephenson (OGS, 2011)
  • The Wrong-Coloured Dragon, illus. Joanna Scott (Kindle, 2012)
  • Uprooted: a Canadian war story (HarperCollins, 2014), OCLC 881018287
  • The Red Red Dragon (Walker Books, 2022)
Short stories
  • The Magic Hare, illus. Barry Moser (1993); also illus. Hilda Offen
  • Sarah and After: the matriarchs (The Bodley Head, 1975) LCCN 75-318081; US title, Sarah and After: five women who founded a nation – Bible stories
Older readers
  • One More River (London: Vallentine Mitchell, 1973)
  • My Darling Villain (Bodley Head, 1977); US ed., 1986
  • The Writing on the Wall (1982) ?88
  • Melusine: a mystery (1988); US ed., 1989
  • One More River, revised edition (NY: William Morrow, 1992), LCCN 91-43152
  • Broken Bridge; US ed., 1994 (revised?) LCCN 94-26636 – sequel to One More River
  • Maura's Angel (1998)
  • Moses in Egypt: a novel inspired by the Prince of Egypt and the book of Exodus (1998) LCCN 99-190535
  • The Dungeon (2002)
  • Stealing Stacey (2004)

Adult novels[edit]

  • All in a Row: a comedy in three acts (Deane, 1956), LCCN 56-41380
  • The L-Shaped Room (Chatto & Windus, 1960); US ed., 1961
  • An End to Running (Chatto & Windus, 1962)
  • House of Hope (Simon & Schuster, 1962)
  • Children at the Gate (Chatto & Windus, 1968)
  • The Backward Shadow (Simon & Schuster, 1970) – sequel to The L-Shaped Room
  • Two is Lonely (Chatto & Windus, 1974) – completes the L-Shaped Room trilogy
  • Dark Quartet: the story of the Brontës (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1976); US ed., 1977 – Biographical fiction[9]

  • Path to the Silent Country: Charlotte Brontë's years of fame (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1977); US ed., 1978
  • Defy the Wilderness (Chatto & Windus, 1981)
  • The Warning Bell (Hamish Hamilton, 1984); US ed., 1986
  • Casualties (1986); US ed., 1987
  • Fair Exchange (London: Piatkus, 1998)


Picture books[edit]

  • The Spice Rack, illus. Omri Stephenson (OGS Designs, 2010)
  • Polly and Jake, illus. Omri Stephenson (OGS, 2010)


  1. ^ "Lynne Reid Banks". Bookclub. 6 June 2010. BBC Radio 4. Retrieved 18 January 2014. James Naughtie and readers talk to the celebrated author Lynne Reid Banks about her first novel, The L-Shaped Room.
  2. ^ "Home".
  3. ^ Biography Archived 18 July 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Banks, Lynne Reid (14 August 2011). "TV news in the 50s was more thrilling than The Hour". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2023. The BBC's drama set in a TV newsroom may be a murder mystery, but my days as a pioneering TV reporter were far more exciting
  5. ^ Banks, Lynne Reid (28 March 2016). "Chaim Stephenson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  6. ^ "About me". Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  7. ^ "Awards". Action for Children’s Arts. Retrieved 29 January 2023. 2013: The JM Barrie Award was presented to Lynne Reid Banks, author of more than forty books for children and a tireless champion of children's arts for many years.
  8. ^ "I, HOUDINI: The Autobiography of a Self-Educated Hamster by Lynne Reid Banks". Kirkus Reviews. 6 May 1988. Retrieved 29 January 2023.
  9. ^ "DARK QUARTET: The Story of the Brontes by Lynne Reid Banks". Kirkus Reviews. 1 February 1977. Retrieved 29 January 2023.

External links[edit]