• Birth—August 8, 1950
• Where—London, England, UK
• Education—B.A., Cambridge University
• Awards—Silver Dagger Award for Crime Fiction
• Currently—lives in London, England
Sarah Dunant is a writer, broadcaster and critic. She was a founding vice patron of the Orange Prize for women's fiction, sits on the editorial board of the Royal Academy magazine, and reviews for the Times, Guardian, and Independent on Sunday. She teaches creative writing at The Faber Academy in London and biennially at Washington University in St. Louis in its Renaissance studies course. She is also a creative writing fellow at Oxford Brookes University. She has two daughters and lives in London and Florence.
Dunant was born in London. She attended Godolphin and Latymer School and studied history at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she was heavily involved in theatre and the Footlights review. After a brief spell working for the BBC she spent much of her twenties traveling (Japan, India, Asia and Central and South America) before starting to write. Her first two novels, along with a BBC television series, were written with a friend. After this she went solo.
Since then she has written ten novels, three screenplays and edited two books of essays. She has worked in television and radio as a producer and presenter: most notably for BBC Television where for seven years (1989–1996) she presented the live nightly culture programme The Late Show. After that she presented the BBC Radio 3 radio programme Night Waves.
Dunant's work ranges over a number of genres and eras. Her narratives are hard to categorise due to their inventive treatment of time and space, and a favoured device of hers is to run two or more plot strands concurrently, as she does in Mapping the Edge. A common concern running through her work is women's perceptions and points of view, with other themes included.
Her first eight novels were broadly written within a thriller form. Their setting was contemporary and allowed her to explore such themes such as the drug trade, surrogacy, terrorism, animals rights, cosmetic surgery and sexual violence.
Then in 2000 an extended visit to Florence rekindled her first love: History. The novels which followed—The Birth of Venus (2003), In the Company of the Courtesan (2006), and Sacred Hearts (2009) were extensively researched historical explorations of what it was like to be a woman within the Italian Renaissance. The trilogy looked at marriage, the culture of courtesans and the life of cloistered nuns. They were all international best sellers and were translated into over 30 languages.
Her 2013 novel Blood & Beauty centers on a depiction of Italy's Borgia dynasty. It sets out to offer a historically accurate vision of a family who have been much maligned by history. Dunant states in her afterword that she plans to write a second, concluding novel, about the family. (From Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/22/2013.)
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