Susanna Clarke


Susanna Clarke

Infobox Writer
name = Susanna Clarke



imagesize = 200px
caption = Clarke in March 2006.
pseudonym =
birthdate = birth date and age|1959|11|1
birthplace = Nottingham, England
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist, short story writer
nationality = English
period = 1996—Present
genre = Alternate history, Fantasy
subject =
movement = Magical Realism
influences = Jane Austen, G. K. Chesterton, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Neil Gaiman, C. S. Lewis, Ursula Le Guin, Alan Moore, Joss Whedon
influenced =


website = http://www.jonathanstrange.com

Susanna [Mary] Clarke (born November 1, 1959) is a British author best known for her debut novel "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" (2004), a Hugo Award-winning alternate history fantasy.

Biography

Early life

Susanna [Mary] Clarke was born November 1, 1959 in Nottingham, England.Citation | last = Clarke | first = Susanna | title = The Three Susanna Clarkes | newspaper = Locus | pages = 6–7, 56 | year = 2005 | date = April 2005 | url = http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/04Clarke.html ] She was the eldest daughter of a Methodist Minister and spent her childhood in various towns across Northern England and Scotland.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: The Author By the Publisher | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=1 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ] She attended St Hilda's College, Oxford, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy, politics, and economics. In the following eight years she worked in publishing at Quarto and Gordon Fraser, then in 1990 she went abroad for two years, teaching English as a foreign language in Turin, Italy and Bilbao, Spain.Citation | last = Clarke | first = Susanna | title = The Three Susanna Clarkes | newspaper = Locus | pages = 6–7, 56 | year = 2005 | date = April 2005 | url = http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/04Clarke.html ]

hort fiction

In 1992 she returned to England, having departed from teaching, and spent the remainder of the year in County Durham.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: The Author By the Publisher | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=1 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ] Early the following year she compiled her notes for what would be "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" and attempted to write the novel. Clarke realized that a more formal education in fiction writing might be an asset and thus applied to the Arvon Foundation, a charity for writers in Britain, wherein the student would receive an intensified education during a four- or five-day course with two tutors. After investigating several of the fantasy-oriented course offerings, Clarke opted for the one mentored by Colin Greenland and Geoff Ryman since they were on the literary end of fantasy. Greenland sent one of Clarke's stories from the course, "The Ladies of Grace Adieu," to Neil Gaiman, who in turn showed it to Patrick Nielsen Hayden. Hayden bought Clarke's tale for publication in his "Starlight 1" (1996) anthology.Citation | last = Clarke | first = Susanna | title = The Three Susanna Clarkes | newspaper = Locus | pages = 6–7, 56 | year = 2005 | date = April 2005 | url = http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/04Clarke.html ]

In the following decade, Clarke was employed as an editor of cookbooks at Simon & Schuster's Cambridge office.Citation | last = Clarke | first = Susanna | title = The Three Susanna Clarkes | newspaper = Locus | pages = 6–7, 56 | year = 2005 | date = April 2005 | url = http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/04Clarke.html ] During this time, she published seven short stories and novellas in US anthologies. One, "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse" (1999), first appeared in a limited-edition, illustrated chapbook from Green Man Press. Another, "Mr Simonelli, or The Fairy Widower," was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award in 2001.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: The Author By the Publisher | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=1 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ] Many of Clarke's short tales relate to the world of her first novel, "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell".Citation | last = Clarke | first = Susanna | title = The Three Susanna Clarkes | newspaper = Locus | pages = 6–7, 56 | year = 2005 | date = April 2005 | url = http://www.locusmag.com/2005/Issues/04Clarke.html ]

The Decade of "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"

In 1993, while she still resided in County Durham in a house that over-looked the North Sea, she began writing her first novel, "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell", which was completed a decade later and published by Bloomsbury in October 2004.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: The Author By the Publisher | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=1 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ] The novel was not a small undertaking, being 800 pages in length and requiring of Clarke a great deal of time researching the history of early 19th-Century London.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: Author of Fantasy Fiction | url = http://www.realityends.com/susanna-clarke.html | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ]

The finished product, an alternate history fantasy regarding two magicians, was filled with historical detail and copious footnotes that embellished the world.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: Author of Fantasy Fiction | url = http://www.realityends.com/susanna-clarke.html | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ]

Current

Clarke resides in Cambridge with her partner, the science fiction novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland, with whom she has lived since 1996.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: The Author By the Publisher | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=1 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ] She is working on a new book that begins a few years after the closing events of "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell". This new work will focus on different characters, as Ms. Clarke has become more interested in people who are lower down the social scale (possibly meaning Childermass and Vinculus) and less intrigued by the rich and famous.cite web | title = Susanna Clarke: Author of Fantasy Fiction | url = http://www.jonathanstrange.com/copy.asp?s=3 | accessdate = 2007-04-15 ]

Bibliography

Novels

* "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell" (2004)

hort story collections

* "The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories" (2006)
** "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" (1996)
** "On Lickerish Hill" (1997)
** "Mrs Mabb" (1998)
** "The Duke of Wellington Misplaces His Horse" (1999)
** "Mr Simonelli, or the Fairy Widower" (2000)
** "Tom Brightwind, or How the Fairy Bridge was Built at Thoresby" (2001)
** "Antickes and Frets" (2004)
** "John Uskglass and the Cumbrian Charcoal Burner"

Miscellaneous

* "Stopp’t-Clock Yard" (1996)—short story, printed in "", edited by Neil Gaiman & Ed Kramer
* "The Dweller in High Places" (2007)—radioplay for BBC Radio 7

Awards

* 2001 World Fantasy Award (Short Fiction Award, shortlist): "Mr Simonelli, or the Fairy Widower"
* 2004 Guardian First Book Award (shortlist): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"
* 2004 Whitbread Book Award (Best First Novel Award, shortlist): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"
* 2005 British Book Awards (Literary Fiction Award, shortlist): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"
* 2005 British Book Awards (Newcomer of the Year Award): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"
* 2005 Hugo Award (Best Novel Award): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"
* 2005 World Fantasy Award (Best Novel Award): "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell"

Notes and references

ee also

* Fictional books in the works of Susanna Clarke

External links

* [http://www.jonathanstrange.com/ Susanna Clarke's web site]
* [http://www.foem.org.uk/ The Friends of English Magic - a notable fan-site dedicated to the works of Susanna Clarke]
*
* [http://www.fantasyliterature.net/clarkesusanna.html Susanna Clarke Reviews at FanLit.net]


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