Rachel Ingalls

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Rachel Ingalls
Born (1940-05-13) May 13, 1940 (age 77)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Occupation Novelist
Nationality American
Alma mater Radcliffe College
Period 1970–present
Notable works Mrs. Caliban

Rachel Holmes Ingalls (born 1940) is an American-born author who has lived in the United Kingdom, since 1965.[1][2] She won the 1970 Authors' Club First Novel Award for Theft. Her novel Mrs. Caliban was published in 1982, and her book of short stories Times Like These in 2005.

Ingalls's short story "Last Act: The Madhouse" inspired the story of the character Jean in the 1997 film Chinese Box by Wayne Wang.[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ingalls was born on May 13, 1940, in Boston and grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She got her B. A. degree from Radcliffe College in 1964, and emigrated to England.[2] She is the daughter of Phyllis (née Day) and the late Sanskritist Daniel Henry Holmes Ingalls, Sr., and the sister of the computer scientist Dan Ingalls.[4][5]

Literary Reputation[edit]

Ingalls’ reputation is characterised by deep admiration and acclaim but also a certain degree of obscurity.[6] She has referred to her limited commercial success as being due to the ''very odd, unsalable length” of her books, which tend to be story collections or novellas.[7] She was awarded the Authors' Club First Novel Award for her book Theft.[8] In 1986 the British Book Marketing Council named the hitherto little known Mrs Caliban as one of the 20 greatest American novels since World War II, sparking wider interest in both book and writer.[7] Earlier praise for Mrs Caliban came from John Updike.[9] The writer Daniel Handler is an advocate of Ingalls' work.[10][11]


In 2017 Pharos Editions published a collection of Ingalls' stories selected and introduced by Daniel Handler under the title Three Masquerades: Novellas (ISBN 9781940436449).[12]


  1. ^ Park, Ed (2005-12-20). "They Never Forget". Village Voice. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  2. ^ a b Rachel Ingalls in Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series, 2007
  3. ^ Phipps, Keith (29 April 1998). "Wayne Wang: Boxed in". A.V. Club. Retrieved 14 February 2017. 
  4. ^ Eck, Diana; Frye, Richard; Stewart, Zeph; Tu, Wei-ming; Witzel, Michael (18 February 2010). "Daniel Henry Holmes Ingalls". Harvard Gazette. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  5. ^ Sokolov, Raymond (15 March 1988). "Bookshelf: Dorothy and the Frogman". The Wall Street Journal – via Proquest. 
  6. ^ Fowler, Christopher (11 March 2012). "Invisible Ink: No 114 - Rachel Ingalls". Independent. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  7. ^ a b Dorris, Michael (28 December 1986). "Love with the Proper Amphibian". The New York Times. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  8. ^ International Who's Who of Authors and Writers 2004 (19th ed.). London: Europa. 2003. p. 267. ISBN 9781857431797. 
  9. ^ Updike, John (1983). "Review of Mrs. Caliban". New Yorker: 87. 
  10. ^ Cruickshank, Noah (13 February 2017). "Daniel Handler tells us what not to read on Valentine’s Day". A.V. Club. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  11. ^ Handler, Daniel (14 February 2017). "Daniel Handler on the Best Writer You Don’t Know: Rachel Ingalls". Literary Hub. Retrieved 16 February 2017. 
  12. ^ Kirkus Review (14 February 2017). "Three Masquerades". Kirkus. Retrieved 14 February 2017.