Announcing our Top 20 Books of 2022

Joanne Harris biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Joanne Harris
Photo: Paul Barker

Joanne Harris

Joanne Harris Biography

Joanne Harris was born in Barnsley, Yorkshire on July 3, 1964, her mother is French, her father English.  She was educated at Wakefield Girls' High and Barnsley Sixth Form College, and then read Modern and Mediaeval Languages at Saint Catharine's College, Cambridge.  After a number of heroic career failures (rock musician, herbalist, accountant) she succumbed to genetic pressure and became a French teacher for 12 years at a boys' grammar school in Leeds, and later taught a French Literature course at Sheffield University. 

Her first novel, The Evil Seed, was published in 1989, although she strongly advises against reading it.  Since then she has written Sleep, Pale Sister (1993); Chocolat (1999); Blackberry Wine (2000); Five Quarters of the Orange (2001), Coastliners (2002), Holy Fools (2003), Jigs and Reels (2004), Gentlemen and Players (2005), The French Market (2005), The Lollipop Shoes (2007), Runemarks (2008), Blueeyedboy (2010), and a cookbook-memoir My French Kitchen (2002).  Her books have been published in 40 countries and have won a number of British and international awards. 

She was awarded an honorary D.Lit (Doctor of Letters) by the University of Huddersfield in 2003 and also by the University of Sheffield in 2004.

According to her website her hobbies include "mooching, lounging, strutting, strumming, priest-baiting and quiet subversion of the system, although she also enjoys obfuscation, sleaze, rebellion, witchcraft, armed robbery, tea and biscuits. She is not above bribery and would not necessarily refuse an offer involving exotic travel, champagne or yellow diamonds from Graff. She plays bass guitar in a band first formed when she was 16, is currently studying Old Norse and lives with her husband Kevin and her daughter Anouchka, about 15 miles from the place she was born."

Joanne Harris's website

This bio was last updated on 08/03/2016. In a perfect world, we would like to keep all of BookBrowse's biographies up to date, but with many thousands of lives to keep track of it's simply impossible to do. So, if the date of this bio is not recent, you may wish to do an internet search for a more current source, such as the author's website or social media presence. If you are the author or publisher and would like us to update this biography, send the complete text and we will replace the old with the new.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Interview

Joanne Harris discusses Gentlemen & Players and her work in general.

Every time I bring out a new book, I’ve noticed the same set of conflicting reactions from some elements of the Press. One faction inevitably complains about how very different the present book is from the previous one (as if in resentment at my having escaped the Sisyphean fate of rolling the same book uphill throughout eternity), while the opposing faction sets out to prove how all of my books are exactly the same. Some reviewers are so sure of their ability to predict where I’m going next that they barely bother to glance at the book at all, with embarrassing results (check out the journalist who described Coastliners as “another of Harris’ sweeping historical epics”, or the one who based her entire review of Jigs & Reels on a single story and wrote how “once more, food and France play a leading role in this feelgood confection.”)

You may already know that I don’t like expectations. You may also be aware of how I feel about being pushed, stamped, marked, labelled, briefed, debriefed and numbered.

That’s why I published Jigs & Reels; to escape the box; to explore uncharted space; to prove that all roads do not necessarily lead to France, or food, ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Books by this Author

Books by Joanne Harris at BookBrowse
Peaches for Father Francis jacket The Girl with No Shadow jacket Runemarks jacket Gentlemen and Players jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Joanne Harris 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

  • Diana Abu-Jaber

    Diana Abu-Jaber

    Diana Abu-Jaber is the award-winning author of seven books of fiction and nonfiction, including Crescent and The Language of Baklava. She lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Five Quarters of The Orange

    Try:
    Crescent
    by Diana Abu-Jaber

  • Boris Akunin

    Boris Akunin

    Boris Akunin is the pen name of Grigory Chkhartishvili, who was born in the Republic of Georgia in 1956. A philologist, critic, essayist, and translator of Japanese, Akunin published his first detective stories in 1998 and ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Gentlemen and Players

    Try:
    Murder on the Leviathan
    by Boris Akunin

We recommend 25 similar authors

View all 25 Readalikes

Non-members can see 2 results. Become a member
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Join and Save 20%!

Become a member and
discover exceptional books.

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket
    Bewilderment
    by Richard Powers
    In 2019, Richard Powers won the Pulitzer Prize for The Overstory, a sprawling novel whose characters...
  • Book Jacket: I'm the Girl
    I'm the Girl
    by Courtney Summers
    YA author Courtney Summers doesn't believe in shielding her teenage readers from the world's darkest...
  • Book Jacket: They're Going to Love You
    They're Going to Love You
    by Meg Howrey
    Teenage Carlisle lives with her mother in Ohio, but their relationship has never felt particularly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen
    by Isaac Blum
    That irreplaceable feeling of everyone knowing your name. The yearning to be anonymous. Parents ...

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Natural History
    by Andrea Barrett

    A masterful new collection of interconnected stories, from the renowned National Book Award–winning author.

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

W N, W Not

and be entered to win..

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
Cradles of the Reich
by Jennifer Coburn
Three women, a nation seduced by a madman, and the Nazi breeding program to create a so-called master race.
Who Said...

When I get a little money I buy books...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.