|Born||20 December 1951|
|Alma mater||University of Dundee|
Kate Atkinson(born 20 December 1951) is an English writer of novels, plays and short stories. She is known for creating the Jackson Brodie series of detective novels, which has been adapted into the BBC One series Case Histories. She won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in 1995 in the Novels category for Behind the Scenes at the Museum, winning again in 2013 and 2015 under its new name the Costa Book Awards.
The daughter of a shopkeeper, Atkinson was born in York, the setting for several of her books. She studied English literature at the University of Dundee, gaining her master's degree in 1974. Atkinson subsequently studied for a doctorate in American literature, with a thesis titled "The post-modern American short story in its historical context". She failed at the viva (oral examination) stage. After leaving the university, she took on a variety of jobs, from home help to legal secretary and teacher.
Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the 1995 Whitbread Book of the Year and went on to be a Sunday Times bestseller. Since then, she has published further novels, as well as plays and short stories. Some of her books are part of a series of novels, starting with Case Histories, which feature the character of Jackson Brodie as a private investigator and former police inspector. Atkinson has criticised the media's coverage of her work – when she won the Whitbread award, for example, it was the fact that she was a "single mother" who lived outside London that received the most attention. In a 2018 interview she declared that she did not spend time in great literary parties or the London high life.
In 2009, she donated the short story "Lucky We Live Now" to Oxfam's Ox-Tales project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Atkinson's story was published in the Earth collection.
In March 2010, Atkinson appeared at the York Literature Festival, giving a world-premier reading from an early chapter from her novel Started Early, Took My Dog (2010), which is set mainly in the English city of Leeds.
Atkinson was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to literature. On 30 November 2018, she was the guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs.
In 2015 in the United States, Shonda Rhimes was in the process of developing a pilot called The Catch, based on a treatment written by Atkinson, and starring Mireille Enos. Her 2013 novel, Life After Life, was screened as a BBC drama in 2022.