Jessie Burton biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Jessie Burton
Photo: Wolf Marloh

Jessie Burton

Jessie Burton Biography

Jessie Burton, born in 1982, studied at the University of Oxford and the Central School of Speech and Drama and has worked as an actress and a PA. She currently lives in southeast London, not far from where she grew up.

Jessie Burton's website

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Interview

Author Jessie Burton describes the overlap between writing and her other profession, acting, and what drove her to work on The Miniaturist.

What was the inspiration for The Miniaturist?

I was visiting Amsterdam when I came upon this dolls' house in the Rijksmuseum. It had been built in 1686 and was a thing of true decorative beauty. The owner was a woman called Petronella Oortman, who had commissioned it as an exact replica of her own townhouse in the heart of the city. She had spent as much money on it as you might on a real house, and miniature pieces had been made for its interior as far away as Japan and China. I was so curious as to why she would miniaturize her existence, why she would purchase food she couldn't eat and chairs she couldn't sit on...and then there was the city of Amsterdam and its history. A place of trade and power, contradictions of outward modesty and bursting inward pomp - and the dolls' house was a perfect symbol of this, of the need for secrets, for control, for domestic harmony that covered over inner chaos.

The streets of 17th-century Amsterdam come alive in this novel, and the social structures are richly explored. Can you describe the research conducted to create this authentic world?

I researched as I wrote. I needed the fictional story to pose factual questions rather than just me absorbing historical facts and ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Jessie Burton at BookBrowse
The Muse jacket The Miniaturist jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Jessie Burton 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 readalikes

  • Alix Christie

    Alix Christie

    Alix Christie was born in California, spent her childhood summers in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, and has lived in Paris, San Francisco, and Berlin. She has been a widely published journalist for thirty years, ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Miniaturist

    Try:
    Gutenberg's Apprentice
    by Alix Christie

  • Claire Messud

    Claire Messud

    Claire Messud is a recipient of Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Author of six works of fiction including her most recent novel, The Burning Girl... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Miniaturist

    Try:
    The Woman Upstairs
    by Claire Messud

We recommend 5 similar authors

View all 5 Readalikes

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