Sarah Bakewell

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Sarah Bakewell
Sarah Bakewell.jpg
Born1962/1963 (age 54–55)[1]
Bournemouth, England
Notable worksHow to Live

Sarah Bakewell (born 1962/63)[1] is a British author of non-fiction. She currently lives in London.[1]


Bakewell was born in the seaside town of Bournemouth, England, where her parents ran a small hotel.[1] When she was five, the family began travelling through India in a camper and continued to do so for two years before settling in Sydney, Australia. There, her father worked as a bookseller and her mother worked as a librarian.[1] She was educated at Essex University in England,[1] and spent some of her young adulthood working in bookstores.[2]

As a child, she often wrote and she began writing again during her job at the Wellcome Library in London as a curator of early printed books, which she began in the early 1990s.[1] The Smart, her first book, related the story of an 18th-century forgery trial she came across in the Wellcome collection.[1] In 2002, she quit this job to devote more energy to writing. She published The English Dane, the biography of Danish revolutionary and explorer Jorgen Jorgenson, in 2005. In 2010, she published How to Live, a biography of 16th century essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.[3]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • At the Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails (Other Press, March 2016) is about the existentialist movement and its leaders: Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, Edmund Husserl, Karl Jaspers and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. London: Chatto & Windus, 2016, ISBN 978-0-701186586
  • How to Live (Chatto & Windus, 2010; Other Press, 2011) is about the life of 16th-century essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne.[3] It was reviewed favourably on both sides of the Atlantic.[5][6][1] In 2010 the book won the National Book Critics Circle Award in the Biography category, and the Duff Cooper Prize.[7]
  • The English Dane (Chatto & Windus, 2005; Vintage, 2006) is about 19th-century Danish adventurer Jorgen Jorgenson, a key player in stirring a revolution in Iceland to break from Denmark’s control.[1]
  • The Smart (Chatto & Windus, 2001; Vintage, 2002) is about an 18th-century forgery trial she came across while working at the Wellcome Library.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Patricia Cohen (17 December 2010). "Conversation Across Centuries With the Father of All Bloggers". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Blog Archive » Meet Sarah Bakewell". Other Press. Retrieved 2012-07-09.
  3. ^ a b Adam Thorpe (16 January 2010). "How to Live by Sarah Bakewell | Book review | Books". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 9 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Yale awards eight writers $165,000 Windham-Campbell Prizes". YaleNews. 2018-03-07. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  5. ^ Ruth Scurr, 'How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer by Sarah Bakewell', The Observer, 24 January 2010. Retrieved 13 June 2012.
  6. ^ Michael Bywater, 'How to Live, By Sarah Bakewell', The Independent, 29 January 2010. Retrieved 14 June 2012.
  7. ^ Awards All Past National Book Critics Circle Award Winners and Finalists NBCC website ( Retrieved 14 June 2012.

External links[edit]