BookBrowse Reviews The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

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The Thirteenth Tale

by Diane Setterfield

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2006, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2007, 432 pages

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A love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children.

Setterfield's erudite first work of fiction has all the hallmarks of a classic gothic novel, including the creepy ruined house, long-kept secrets, a madwoman in the attic and a dabbling of ghosts, Set in present-day England it has drawn comparisons to novels by the likes of Daphne du Maurier, Wilkie Collins and Charlotte Bronte. Speaking in an interview shortly after The Thirteenth Tale was published, Setterfield says, "I read French literature almost exclusively for more than a decade, so when I left academia, I really wanted to go back to the English classics which I loved so much as a teenager. It was very nostalgic for me to write in that sort of style."

With short chapters often ending on cliff hangers, a female protagonist with a knack for cracking codes, and a large cast of eccentric ...

More about the author: The publisher's bio provides exactly two lines of information about Diane Setterfield, but happily BookBrowse has been able to dig up a lot more about one of the USA's newest "it" authors. Diane was born in Reading and grew up in Theale (both in the county of Berkshire in the South of England), she attended Theale Green School, and then Bristol University where she studied French Literature. She taught in various universities in England and also in France, where she lived for several years. The Thirteenth Tale is her first novel but she has had academic works published previously - about 19th and 20th century French literature, in particular about the works of André Gide (a French writer, humanist, and moralist who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1947). She is 43, and lives ...

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