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Gale was born in 1962 on the Isle of Wight, the youngest of four children. His father was the prison governor of HM Prison Camp Hill on the Isle of Wight, and he was brought up in and around prisons. In 1969 the family moved to Winchester and his father became Under-Secretary of State for Prisons. In his 2000 novel Rough Music, the lead character is the son of a prison governor.
In Winchester he was invited to join the Quiristers in the Winchester College Chapel Choir. Before he turned ten, one of his siblings suffered a nervous breakdown and his mother almost died in a car accident that left her brain-damaged. After leaving home he attended the University of Oxford.
His first two novels, The Aerodynamics of Pork, and Ease, were published on the same day in 1985.
in 2017 he made his screenwriting debut with Man in an Orange Shirt, a two part original drama which formed part of the BBC's Gay Britannia season. The show won the 2018 International Emmy for Best Miniseries.
Published in 2000, his Rough Music is his most widely held book in libraries, owned by 673 libraries according to WorldCat 
Describing himself as the "last novelist in England", he has lived in Cornwall since 1988, a county much celebrated in his novels. He is artistic director of the North Cornwall Book Festival, which he helped found, and is held at St Endellion in the first week of October each year. He is a patron of the Charles Causley Trust, the Penzance LitFest and Literature Works.
Novels and short stories
- The Aerodynamics of Pork (1985)
- Ease (1985)
- Kansas in August (1987)
- Facing the Tank (1988)
- Little Bits of Baby (1989)
- The Cat Sanctuary (1990)
- Caesar's Wife (1991) – novella contained in the collection Secret Lives, along with works by Tom Wakefield and Francis King
- The Facts of Life (1996)
- Dangerous Pleasures (1996) – short stories
- Tree Surgery for Beginners (1999)
- Rough Music (2000)
- A Sweet Obscurity (2003)
- Friendly Fire (2005)
- Notes from an Exhibition (2007)
- The Whole Day Through (2009)
- Gentleman's Relish (2009) – short stories
- A Perfectly Good Man (2012)
- A Place Called Winter (2015)
- Take Nothing With You (2018)
- "About Patrick". Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- Reunited, Genes. "Patrick Gale - England & Wales Births 1837-2006  - Genes Reunited". www.genesreunited.co.uk. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- "Gale, Patrick 1962- [WorldCat.org]". www.worldcat.org. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- Chris Beck, "Work in Progress", Weekend Australian, 11–12 November 2000, Review, p. 8
- Paul Veitch, Peter Karp, "Exploring love and marriage", Sunday Canberra Times, 6 September 1998, p. 18
- "Results for 'Patrick Gale' > 'Patrick Gale' [WorldCat.org]". www.worldcat.org. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
- Patrick Gale's website
- Patrick Gale bibliography
- "BIGfib.com" Patrick Gale Interview
- outuk.com Interview with Patrick Gale
- Dymocks Online Interview with Patrick Gale
- Articles by Patrick Gale on the 5th Estate blog
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