Susanna Clarke, a Methodist Minister’s eldest daughter was born in Nottingham, England in 1959. Oxford educated (philosophy, politics and economics at St Hilda’s College), she is best known for her award winning novel "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell," which was published in 2004. Clarke spent eight years working in publishing before moving to Turin, Italy in 1990. In Italy she taught English to employees of the Fiat motor company before moving to Bilbao in Spain in 1991 to teach English. She moved back to England in 1992.
In 1993, she began writing "Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell." The novel took ten years to complete, and a period she herself describes as "a crazy amount of time to spend on anything". During these ten years she worked as a cookery editor for the company Simon and Schuster in Cambridge. The book is dedicated to Susanna Clarke's brother, Paul Frederick Gunn Clarke, who died in the year 2000.
"I always really liked magicians. I’m not even sure why—except that they know things other people don’t and they live in untidy rooms full of strange objects. In C. S. Lewis’s Narnia stories there are only two magicians. One is weak and wicked, and the other barely gets two lines of dialogue. But they both fascinated me. One (the weak one) has a tray of magic rings, green and yellow, as shiny and bright as sweets. They’re magic, they’re jewelry and they look like scrummy sweets. What’s not to like'"
Although it took the publication of "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" to make Susanna Clarke a household name, she had already had seven short stories published in the United States. Of these, "Mr Simonelli," or "The Fairy Widower" was short listed for the 1991 World Fantasy Award.
"Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" made its television debut on May 17, 2015, in the U.K., and hit BBC America screens on June 13, 2015.
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