Tracy Chevalier

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Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier tree.jpg
BornTracy Rose Chevalier
(1962-10-19) October 19, 1962 (age 57)
Washington, D.C., U.S.
CitizenshipUnited States / British
EducationBachelor's degree in English; Master's degree in Creative Writing
Alma materOberlin College
University of East Anglia
GenreHistorical fiction
Notable worksGirl with a Pearl Earring
SpouseJonathan Drori
RelativesDouglas Chevalier

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Tracy Rose Chevalier, FRSL (born October 19, 1962)[1] is an American-British historical novelist. She is best known for her second novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, which was adapted as a 2003 film starring Scarlett Johansson and Colin Firth.

Personal background[edit]

Tracy Chevalier was born on October 19, 1962, in Washington, D.C.[2] She is the daughter of Douglas and Helen (née Werner) Chevalier. Her father was a photographer who worked with The Washington Post for more than 30 years. Her mother died in 1970, when Chevalier was eight years old.[3] Chevalier has an older sister, Kim Chevalier, who resides in Soulan, France; and a brother, Michael Chevalier, who lives in Salida, Colorado.[4] As of 2013, Chevalier lives in London with her husband, Jonathan Drori[5] and son, Jacob.[3][6]

She graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1980. After receiving her Bachelor's degree in English from Oberlin College in 1984, she moved to England, where she began working in publishing. In 1993, she began studying Creative Writing, earning a master's degree from the University of East Anglia. Her tutors included novelists Malcolm Bradbury and Rose Tremain.[6]

Professional background[edit]

Following her graduation from Oberlin College, Chevalier moved to England, where she began working as an editorial assistant with Macmillan's Dictionary of Art, then later joined St. James Press, serving as a reference book editor.[7]

Her first novel, The Virgin Blue, was published in the UK in 1997 and was chosen by W H Smith for their showcase of new authors.[8] Her second novel, entitled Girl with a Pearl Earring, was published in 1999. The work, which was based on the famous painting by Vermeer, has been translated into 38 languages. As of 2014, it has sold over five million copies worldwide.[9] It won the Barnes and Noble Discover Award in 2000.[10] In 2003, a film based on the novel was released, receiving three Academy Award nominations in 2004, along with ten BAFTAs and two Golden Globes. Her 2013 novel, The Last Runaway was honored with the Ohioana Book Award[11] and was chosen for the Richard and Judy Book Club for autumn 2013.[12]

In 2011 she edited and contributed towards Why Willows Weep, a collection of short stories by 19 authors, the sale of which raised money for the Woodland Trust, for which her husband served as a trustee.[13][14]


Chevalier has been involved in representing authors as a member of various community organizations. In 2006, she began serving as the chairperson for the Management Committee for the UK's Society of Authors, serving in that capacity for two years.[citation needed] She served on the Advisory Board of the UK’s Public Lending Right from 2008 until 2015, while as serving as Patron of World Book Night.[citation needed] Girl with a Pearl Earring was chosen as one of the books given away in both the US and UK for World Book Night 2013. In 2015 she joined the British Library Board as a Trustee. She is also an Ambassador for the Woodland Trust, where her husband serves as a member of the board of directors.[15]

Honors and awards[edit]

  • 1997: WH Smith Fresh Talent for The Virgin Blue[16]
  • 2000: Barnes and Noble Discover Award for Girl with a Pearl Earring[10]
  • 2008: Fellow, Royal Society of Literature[17]
  • 2013: Ohioana Book Award, for The Last Runaway[11]
  • 2013: Richard and Judy Book Club book for The Last Runaway[12]
  • 2013: Honorary Doctorate, Oberlin College and University of East Anglia[18]


  • The Virgin Blue (1997) ISBN 978-0452284449
  • Girl with a Pearl Earring (1999) ISBN 978-0525945277
  • Falling Angels (2001) ISBN 978-0525945819
  • The Lady and the Unicorn (2003) ISBN 978-0007140909
  • Burning Bright (2007) ISBN 978-0007245130
  • Remarkable Creatures (2009) ISBN 978-0007178377
  • The Last Runaway (2013) ISBN 978-0525952992
  • At the Edge of the Orchard (2016) ISBN 0525953000
  • New Boy (2017) ISBN 9780553447637
  • A Single Thread (2019)
As editor


  1. ^ "Tracy Rose CHEVALIER - Personal Appointments (free information from Companies House)". Retrieved 25 July 2018.
  2. ^ Sharp, Michael D. (2006). Popular Contemporary Writers, Marshall Cavendish, p. 349. ISBN 978-0761476016.
  3. ^ a b Clare Geraghty (2013-03-24). "Tracy Chevalier - bestselling author of Girl With a Pearl Earring - shares her keepsakes and family memories". Daily Mail. London. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  4. ^ Schudel, Matt (2007-06-10). "Photographer Douglas Chevalier". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  5. ^ "Tracy Chevalier". Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  6. ^ a b Jardine, Cassandra (2003-09-09). "I thought: 'Who's playing a prank?'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  7. ^ "Tracy Chevalier - About Me". Tracy Chevalier ( 2012-12-11. Archived from the original on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  8. ^ Helen Stevenson (1997-02-01). "Books: Independent choice: first novels - Books - Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. London. Retrieved 2013-09-13.
  9. ^ Jessica Salter (2014-03-28). "The world of writer Tracy Chevalier". The Telegraph. London. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
  10. ^ a b "Barnes & Awards". 2013-09-30. Archived from the original on 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  11. ^ a b "Ohioana Fiction Set in Ohio: 2013 Winner". Archived from the original on 2014-07-27. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  12. ^ a b "Autumn 2013 - Current Reads". Richard and Judy ( 2013-08-29. Retrieved 2013-10-06.
  13. ^ Feilden, Tom (10 October 2011). "From weeping willows to mighty oaks". BBC News.
  14. ^ Etoe, Catherine (17 November 2011). "Review - Why Willows Weep. Edited by Tracy Chevalier and Simon Prosser". Camden Review. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
  15. ^ Parker, Olivia (2016-09-11). "Tracy Chevalier: 'My love of Kew Gardens sowed the seeds of my new novel'". The Telegraph. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2017-11-02.
  16. ^ 1972-, Hamilton, Geoff (2010). Encyclopedia of contemporary writers and their works. Jones, Brian, 1959-. New York, NY: Facts On File, Inc. p. 63. ISBN 9780816075782. OCLC 406944997.
  17. ^ "Royal Society of Literature » Tracy Chevalier". Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  18. ^ "Honorary Graduates - UEA". Retrieved 2018-01-26.

External links[edit]