Elizabeth spent her childhood moving home every three years - including living for brief periods in Egypt and Nigeria before moving to Guildford, York and Edinburgh.
After graduating from the University of Kent at Canterbury with a double honours degree in English and History, she began her career as a blurb writer at Penguin Books. This was a job which required the hide of a rhinoceros, a nimble mind and the - occasional - box of tissues. People tend to shout at blurb writers but they are resourceful creatures which she and the team proved by continuing to produce a stream of copy for back jackets through thick and thin. Looking back, it was a golden era. Not many people are paid to spend their time reading through the treasury which is Penguin Books and there was no better education.
Later, after having married and producing two children, she moved on to become a fiction editor at Random House before leaving to write full time which was something she had always planned to do since childhood - when she was frequently caught reading under the bedclothes with a torch after being put to bed which gave both books and reading a deliciously subversive tinge.
Elizabeth Buchan's short stories are broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published in magazines. She reviews for the Sunday Times (UK) and has chaired the Betty Trask and Desmond Elliot literary prizes, and also been a judge for the Whitbread (now Costa) awards. She is a patron of the Guildford Book Festival and a past Chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association.
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About This Biography
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You weave the narrative beautifully between the joys and sorrows of her
time with Hal and her marriage to Nathan. Why did you choose to frame the story
One of the points I wanted to explore was about timing. When we make our choicesto marry, to have children, to change jobs, etc....has a direct bearing on how successful or not our lives will be. Rose knew she wanted children and, however intense and addictive her feelings for Hal, it was not likely to happen with Hal, who wanted different things. Reflecting on her history helps Rose to clarify the muddle and anguish left by the breakdown of her marriage, and also to suggest these ideas to the reader. Amplifying the same point, Nathan chooses to step back out of one cycle that is coming to an end, only to find he is back in the same place, and is now faced at fifty-something with a reduced income, a wife, and twins. More important, perhaps, he has deprived himself of a peace and freedom that he might have expected after the hurly-burly of raising one family.
Ianthe has always been completely unsupportive of Rose. To what degree do you think this influenced Rose in the choices she made?
Again, one of the points I thought would be interesting to write...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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