Diane Setterfield biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Diane Setterfield

Diane Setterfield

How to pronounce Diane Setterfield: die-ann seter-field

Diane Setterfield Biography

Diane Setterfield is a British author. Her bestselling novel, The Thirteenth Tale (2006) was published in 38 countries worldwide and has sold more than three million copies. It was number one in the New York Times hardback fiction list for three weeks and is enjoyed as much for being 'a love letter to reading' as for its mystery and style. Her second novel is Bellman & Black (2013).

Born in Englefield, Berkshire in 1964, Setterfield spent most of her childhood in the nearby village of Theale. After schooldays at Theale Green, Setterfield studied French Literature at the University of Bristol. Her PhD was on autobiographical structures in André Gide's early fiction. She taught English at the Institut Universitaire de Technologie and the Ecole nationale supérieure de Chimie, both in Mulhouse, France, and later lectured in French at the University of Central Lancashire in the UK. She left academia in the late 1990s to pursue writing.

The Thirteenth Tale was acquired by Heyday Films and adapted for television by the award-winning playwright and scriptwriter, Christopher Hampton. Starring Vanessa Redgrave and Olivia Colman, it was filmed in 2013 in North Yorkshire for BBC2.

Setterfield's 2013 novel, Bellman & Black which layers themes of time, memory and loss is published in the autumn of 2013 in UK, USA, Canada, Norway and Spain. Other countries are to follow in 2014.

Setterfield lives in Oxford, in the UK. When not writing she reads widely, and when not actually reading she is usually talking or thinking about reading.

Diane Setterfield's website

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Interview

The scandalous secrets of the Angelfield family are a worthy addition to the most lauded of gothic novels. Where did you get the idea for this dark, sordid family history?

Quite honestly, I don't know. This book took three years to write and its real genesis was longer still: there was no single moment when I thought: Aha! What a great idea! Rather there was a slow and gradual accumulation of numerous small ideas.

Miss Winter's voice was the first element of the book to come to me, and that came from thinking about Patricia Highsmith's Ripley character. I had been considering what it must be like to know oneself to be one kind of person, whilst consistently giving in public the impression of being an entirely different kind of person. I was moved by the loneliness such a person might feel, and in one of those exhilarating rushes of inspiration (I wish there were more of them) dashed down a piece that later became Miss Winter's letter to Margaret. At that stage I didn't even know if it was the voice of a man or a woman.

Later I had a dream in which I was approaching the window of a large, dark house. The ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Diane Setterfield at BookBrowse
Bellman & Black jacket The Thirteenth Tale jacket
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Diane Setterfield but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Sally Beauman

    Sally Beauman

    Sally Beauman was born in England, in Devon, educated at a girls' school in the West Country, and then read English Literature at Girton College, Cambridge where she graduated in 1966 with an MA in English Literature.

    ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Thirteenth Tale

    Try:
    The Sisters Mortland
    by Sally Beauman

  • Michael Cox

    Michael Cox

    Michael Cox was born in Northamptonshire in 1948. After graduating from Cambridge in 1971, he went into the music business as a songwriter and recording artist, releasing two albums and a number of singles for EMI under the ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Thirteenth Tale

    Try:
    The Meaning of Night
    by Michael Cox

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