Kate grew up in York and now lives in Edinburgh She won the Whitbread (now Costa) Book of the Year Prize with her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum. Her four bestselling novels featuring former detective Jackson Brodie became the BBC television series Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs.
Her 2013 novel Life After Life won the South Bank Sky Arts Literature Prize, was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize, and voted Book of the Year for the independent booksellers associations on both sides of the Atlantic. It also won the Costa Novel Award, as did her subsequent novel A God in Ruins (2015). Her most recent book is Big Sky, which features, once again, her much admired character Jackson Brodie (2019).
Speaking about her forthcoming role as Writer-in-Residence, Kate Atkinson commented, “I am delighted to be Writer in Residence at The Savoy, having enjoyed many stays here already. The hotel is rightly world-renowned for service and style and has proved an inspiring location in several of my novels. I’m very much looking forward to the residency.”
Each Writer-in-Residence brings their unique voice to the hotel and takes up residency for around three weeks working on an exclusive story and appearing at events. Sarah Perry, author of The Essex Serpent and After Me Comes the Flood resided at The Savoy in October 2018 during the launch her Sunday Times Bestseller, Melmoth. In 2020, The Savoy will also welcome Aminatta Forna and Garth Greenwell as Writers in Residence.
As The Savoy’s Literary Ambassador, Damian Barr, award-winning writer, columnist and author of Maggie & Me, and You Will Be Safe Here, has been responsible for reviving the hotel’s famous Writer-in-Residence programme, along with introducing a Book Butler team to oversee a seasonal library for guests, and continuing to host the sell-out Literary Salons he created over ten years ago.
“I am so proud to be the first ever literary ambassador at The Savoy, perhaps the most storied hotel in the world”, comments Damian Barr. “The hotel sits on a literary leyline between the Strand and the Thames. It was on this site, in the late 14th century, that Chaucer began writing The Canterbury Tales. William Blake died in a tiny house that stood out in front where the fountain now tinkles. I hum Jerusalem every time I walk past. In room 346 Oscar and Bosie ‘feasted with panthers’. We are honoured to have Kate Atkinson join us as we continue bringing authors and book loving guests together at The Savoy to celebrate the written word.”
Damian Barr, The Savoy’s Literary Ambassador:
Damian Barr is an award-winning writer, columnist and host. Maggie & Me, his memoir about coming of age and coming out in Thatcher's Britain, was a BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and Sunday Times Memoir of the Year, and won the Paddy Power Political Books 'Satire' Award and Stonewall Writer of the Year Award. Damian writes columns for the Big Issue and High Life and often appears on BBC Radio 4. He is creator and host of his own Literary Salon. His debut novel, You Will Be Safe Here, was published by Bloomsbury in 2019 to great acclaim. He is the host of his own TV book show on BBC Scotland The Big Scottish Book Club and is part of the Sky Arts presenting team Live from Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Damian Barr’s Literary Salon:
Where the world’s greatest writers tell new tales and reveal their own stories…
Damian Barr started his Literary Salon at Shoreditch House in 2008 kickstarting a revolution in live literature. The Savoy has been our home since 2016. The Salon is a unique mix of established and emerging writers and always includes at least one world premiere. It’s where David Nicholls launched One Day and Caitlin Moran unveiled her Moranifesto. Guests include Helen Fielding, Brett Easton Ellis, Sathnam Sanghera, Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Diana Athill & Mary Beard. Over 100 interviews are available on iTunes and the Salon is podcast on British Airways.
The audience is equally diverse and distinguished. Regular attendees include: Patrick Gale, Polly Samson, David Gilmour, Tracey Thorn, Rachel Johnson and Kirsty Wark. The Salon pops up all over the world in locations including NYC, Sao Paolo, Sydney, Moscow, Istanbul and San Francisco. Partners include Hay, Man Booker and the BBC.
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