The daughter of a shopkeeper, Kate Atkison was born in the year 1951 in York, England. She was admitted to Dundee University, where she majored in English Literature. In the year 1978, Kate Atkinson was awarded a master’s degree. Eventually, Kate Atkinson began working on her doctorate program, where she mainly focused on American Literature. However, Kate Atkison failed to pass the oral stage. Around this time, Kate Atkinson got married. The marriage did not last for long. Upon leaving the university, Kate Atkinson took different jobs, which range from teaching to home helping. During this time, Kate Atkinson decided to venture into the field of writing, by beginning with a few short stories. Atkinson has been married twice, when she was a student and when she became a writer.
Order of Jackson Brodie Series
|2||One Good Turn||2006|
|3||When Will There Be Good News?||2008|
|4||Started Early, Took My Dog||2010|
Order of Kate Atkinson Short Story Collections
|1||Not the End of the World||2002|
Order of Kate Atkinson Standalone Novels
|1||Behind the Scenes at the Museum||1995|
Order of Todd Family Series
Kate Atkinson MBE is an English author who is perhaps best known for her Jackson Briodie series of novels, which were adapted for television as the series Case Histories. However, she has also written several standalone novels, as well as a play and a collection of short stories. As well as having great commercial success with her work, Kate Atkinson has also achieved critical success, winning the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year award for her debut novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, as well as the Costa Book Award in the novel category for Life After Life, and A God In Ruins, both of which are part of the Todd Family series of books.
Kate Atkinson was born in the English city of York in December 1951. Writing was seemingly always in her blood, as she went to the University of Dundee to study English literature, from where she graduated with a master’s degree in 1974. After which, she continued her work in academia, studying for a doctorate in American literate, although she has said she failed the oral stage of the doctorate
This was not to dull Atkinson’s love for writing, and in 1995, her first novel was published, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which won the Whitbread Book of the Year award, which is an outstanding achievement for her debut novel. Behind the Scenes at the Museum is set in York, the city of Kate Atkinson’s birth, and features the York Castle Museum. The central characters in the book are Ruby Lennox, a young girl, as well as the women in her family, from her great-grandmother to her mother. It is a sprawling story told over several generations, and while Ruby’s story is perhaps the most central to the book, each woman’s story is important in the overall arch of the family’s story. As well as winning the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year award, Behind the Scenes at the Museum received the 1996 Boeke Prize.
Kate Atkinson followed Behind the Scenes at the Museum up with Human Croquet, which was released in 1997, and then Emotionally Weird in 2000. After those two novels, she turned her hand to perhaps her most famous work, the Jackson Brodie series, the first book of which was published in 2004, entitled Case Histories. Following the commercial success of Case Histories, Atkinson followed it up with the second book in the Jackson Brodie series, One Good Turn in 2006. She then published the third book in the series, When Will There Be Good News? in 2008, and then the fourth book, Started Early, Took My Dog, in 2010. The popularity meant that the series was adapted for television, with the Case Histories series starring Jackson Brodie.
Having spend around six years writing the Jackson Brodie series, Kate Atkinson published Life After Life, which starts the epic tale of the Todd family, an upper-class English family in the early 20th century. Life After Life tells the story of Ursula Todd, and employs a peculiar narrative in that it focuses on different timelines Ursula may have had, before finally settling more into a more traditional narrative as Ursula comes to terms with how her life is panning out. For Life After Life, Atkinson achieved great critical success, and was shortlisted for several awards, while picking up the 2013 Costa Book Award (Novel).
Life After Life was followed up by A God In Ruins, which Atkinson yet again won the Costa Book Award (Novel). This time, she tells the story of Teddy Todd, who is a World War II bombed pilot, as well as a greatly-loved member of the Todd family, and Ursula’s younger brother. Like a lot of Atkinson’s work, it focuses on family, and adopts Atkinson’s way of looking at causality and how one decision or event can impact on an entire family.
While growing up, Atkinson had no sisters or brothers to play with. Thus, many of the times, she sought companionship in books. At the time, Kate Atkinson was more than a reader. Kate Atkinson always believed that she was always going to be a highly successful writer in the future. While she was a child, she read Alice in Wonderland several times for five years. With an exceedingly great enthusiasm, Kate Atkinson read her grandmother’s encyclopedias. Atkinson began writing for a women’s magazine immediately after she was announced as the best writer in short story competition in 1986. The story that Kate Atkinson submitted to the Woman’s magazine was the very first piece that she has ever written. It was this story that made Kate Atkinson realize that she had the potential of becoming a professional writer.
In the year 1995, Kate Atkinson was awarded a Whitebread Award. However, Kate Atkinson was shocked to realize that there were a group of critics who had labeled her novel, Behind the Scenes as not only full of feminist fable but also anti-family. This was the point in which Kate Atkinson made a breakthrough in her career as an author. Behind the Scenes has been modified for theater, television, and radio as well. It was Atkinson’s very first novel, and the novel was competing with the works of Salma Rushdie and Roy Jenkins. Atkinson was not only by an agent, but she was also able to land a book deal in less than three months. Despite receiving negative criticism from the media, Kate Atkinson still went ahead and released her book.
All that mattered to Kate Atkinson at the time was the people who read her books. After the success of the novel, Behind the Scenes, Atkinson went ahead and penned down the novel Human Croquet. Atkinson not only considers her novel to be the best but she also considers it to be one of the darkest. In the year 2000, Kate Atkinson released her novel A Comic Novel, which borrows from Kate Atkinson’s childhood and her obsession with Alice in Wonderland.
Kate Atkinson Awards
Kate Atkinson is one of the most decorated authors with more than four awards under her name; Costa First Novel, Costa Book of the Year, E.M Forster Award and Goodreads Choice Award.
Kate Atkinson Books into Movies
Life after Life has been adapted for a screenplay, however, the movie is still in its development stages.
Best Kate Atkinson Books
Life after Life: This book is a masterpiece through which the author, Kate Atkinson portrays how she not only holds the cards but also has the ability to manipulate the characters. To prove this point, Kate gives a majority of the characters in the book second chances. Thus, when Life after Life begins with the protagonist, Ursula Todd, the main character in the book, assassinating Adolf Hitler in the year 1930, the SS decide to point their weapons at Ursula. Berlin, in turn, is plunged into darkness. It does not take long before the author reverts to the author’s birth, in the year 1910. Ursula’s umbilical cord is wrapped around her neck. Dr. Fellowes, the family doctor, is not present due to an exceedingly heavy snowfall and Ursula dies on the spot since no one can find a pair of scissors to cut the cord.
However, the protagonist has another chance and this time around Dr. Fellowes is around and he successfully cuts the cord. He is even handed with the customary piccalilli as a reward. The book has been filled with so many deaths and near deaths as well. The Todd family is exceedingly wealthy and resides just beyond the leafy edge of London in an extremely large house known as the Fox house. Overall, this is a wonderfully written book that will have the reader asking certain questions such as was Ursula able to remember her version of the story? Does she regret not shooting Hitler, when she had the chance to pull the trigger?
Kate Atkinson FAQs
Q: Where was Kate Atkinson born?
A: The English author Kate Atkinson was born in the city of York.
Q: What was the first book Kate Atkinson had published?
A: Kate Atkinson’s first published novel was Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which was published in 1995, and won her the Whitbread Book of the Year award that year.