Jo Baker biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Jo Baker
Photo: Ed Marshall/Timeout/Camera Pre

Jo Baker

Jo Baker Biography

Jo Baker was born in Lancashire and educated in Oxford and Belfast. The Undertow is her first publication in the United States. She is the author of three previous novels published in the United Kingdom: Offcomer, The Mermaid's Child, and The Telling. She lives in Lancaster.

Jo Baker's website

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Interview

Jo Baker discusses the inspiration for her novel, Longbourn, and how daunting it was to work with Jane Austen's characters.

Is it safe to assume you have long been a fan of Jane Austen and in particular of Pride and Prejudice?

That's pretty safe. In fact, I can't even remember when I first read Pride and Prejudice – it seems like I've always known it. Jane Austen's work was my first real experience of grown-up literature, and I've kept on returning to her work throughout my life; I just love her books – I'm a sucker for all that buttoned-up desire and wish-fulfillment. But also, as a writer, I admire her – the immaculate prose, the deft plotting, the briskness of the characterization. I didn't, though, for a moment consider trying to write like her. It's impossible to do nowadays without shifting into parody – which is something I really did not want.

When did you first get the idea to write Longbourn and was there a specific incident that sparked the idea? Can you talk a bit about how your family history in some ways inspired this book?

As a child, reading Jane Austen, I became aware that if I'd been living at the time, I wouldn't have got to go to the ball. I would've been stuck at home, with the housework.

We've got some battered old silver cutlery at ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jo Baker at BookBrowse
The Body Lies jacket A Country Road, A Tree jacket The Telling jacket Longbourn jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Jo Baker 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.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Annie Barrows

    Annie Barrows

    In addition to co-authoring The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society with her aunt Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows is the author of the children's series Ivy and Bean, as well as The Magic Half.

    Annie lives in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Longbourn

    Try:
    The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    by Annie Barrows

  • Jillian Cantor

    Jillian Cantor

    Jillian Cantor has a BA in English from Penn State University and an MFA from the University of Arizona. She is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of eleven novels for teens and adults, which have been ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Longbourn

    Try:
    Beautiful Little Fools
    by Jillian Cantor

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