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Kate Atkinson, novelist

Novelist Kate Atkinson is interviewed by Lauren Laverne

Kate Atkinson won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for her 1995 debut novel Behind the Scenes at the Museum, and has won the Costa Novel Award twice, for Life After Life in 2013 and for A God in Ruins two years later.

Born in York in 1951, she was the only child of a couple who ran a medical and surgical supplies shop. She began to write after she had failed her doctorate at Dundee University and had given birth to two daughters. She took on a wide range of jobs while writing short stories for women's magazines, and did not publish her first book until she was in her early 40s.

Her mid-career reinvention as a writer of detective fiction has seen her publish four novels starring her sleuth Jackson Brodie, with another one in the pipeline. She lives in Edinburgh, has two grown-up daughters, and two grandchildren.

BOOK CHOICE: The Collected Poems and Letters of Emily Dickenson
LUXURY ITEM: A 500 year old, mature oak tree
FAVOURITE TRACK: Beethoven's Symphony no. 5

Presenter: Lauren Laverne
Producer: Cathy Drysdale

Available now

48 minutes

Music Played

  • Glenn Miller

    In The Mood

    • The Essential Glen Miller.
    • Sony Music Entertainment UK Ltd.
    • 10.
  • Kathleen Ferrier

    The Keel Row

    • Ferrier: Songs of the British Isles.
    • 2.
  • The Everly Brothers

    Wake Up Little Susie

    • The Everly Brothers.
    • 9.
  • Peter, Paul & Mary

    This Land Is Your Land (Live In Japan 1967)

    • Peter, Paul & Mary: Live in Japan, 1967.
    • Rhino/Warner Bros.
    • 12.
  • Leonard Cohen


    • Songs Of Leonard Cohen.
    • Columbia Records.
    • 1.
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra & D'Oyly Carte Opera Chorus

    For he's gone and married Yum-Yum

    • Gilbert & Sullivan: The Mikado.
    • Decca.
    • 16.
  • Miranda Lambert

    The House That Built Me

    • Revolution.
    • Columbia Nashville.
    • 10.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven

    Symphonie Nr. 5 c-moll op.67 - 4. Allegro

    Orchestra: Vienna Philharmonic. Conductor: Carlos Kleiber.
    • Beethoven: Symphonie Nr. 5 – Wiener Philharmoniker/Kleiber.
    • Polydor.
    • 4.


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