Thursday, June 18, 2009

About Kate Atkinson

Author of our next book, Case Histories, Kate Atkinson was born in England (1951), but moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, after receiving her M.A. in English literature in 1974. While writing magazine articles and short stories, she also worked at a series of low level jobs in order to support herself and her two children before striking gold with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. This book was awarded several prizes, primarily the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year Award for first novels. Atkinson broadened her writing repertoire with two plays, more short fiction, and a number of novels including Human Croquet, Case Histories, One Good Turn, and When Will There Be Good News?

Kate Atkinson is known for her sense of humor and parody which helps to lighten the storylines of her often dysfunctional characters and their family units. She also utilizes the device of flashbacks to reveal elements of her story in a non-linear, crazy quilt of unfolding action. And she has dabbled in Magic Realism as well. Case Histories offers us the first appearance of Jackson Brodie, down-but-not-out detective who will reappear in subsequent books, as noted in my June 12th posting. When interviewed by Publishers Weekly, 10/25/2004, she stated that in Brodie she "wanted to write a good man but with a darkness at his core, a world-weary kind of hero."

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