Karen Essex Biography
Karen Essex is an award-winning novelist and journalist and a screenwriter.
She is the author of the national and international best-selling novel,
Leonardos Swans (Doubleday 2006), about the rivalries among the powerful
women painted by the great master when he was employed by the Duke of Milan. She
has also written two acclaimed biographical novels about the queen of Egypt,
Kleopatra and Pharaoh, published in 2001 and 2002, which she
adapted into a screenplay for Warner Bros. Essex also adapted Anne Rices novel
The Mummy or Ramses the Damned into a screenplay for Titanic
director James Cameron and 20th Century Fox, and has written a screenplay about
Kamehameha, the first king of Hawaii, for Columbia/Tristar.
Essexs articles, essays and profiles have been published in Vogue, Playboy,
The L. A. Weekly, L. A. Style, and many other periodicals. After being
awarded highest honors from the Los Angeles Press Club for her thought-provoking
cover story about the missing 1950s pinup icon Bettie Page, Essex co-authored
the biography, Bettie Page: Life of a Pinup Legend. Essex is the first
and only journalist with whom the reclusive Ms. Page has ever agreed to meet and
Essex was born and raised in New Orleans. She graduated from Tulane University,
attended graduate school at Vanderbilt University, and received an MFA in
Writing from Goddard College in Vermont. Shes appeared on The Today Show
and A Word on Words hosted by John Seigenthaler, as well as other PBS
and NPR programs. Shes lectured at the Chicago Museum of Art, and extensively
at universities. Her books are taught in many college courses from creative
writing to history to womens studies.
Leonardos Swans, a runaway bestseller in Italy, won the prestigious
2007 Premio Roma for foreign fiction. Her forthcoming novel, Stealing
Athena, about the controversial Elgin Marbles, was published by
Doubleday in June 2008. She is also the author of Dracula in Love: A Novel (2010).
Essexs novels are published in 25 languages. She lives in Los Angeles.
This biography was last updated on 08/14/2011.
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