Rose Tremain

BornRosemary Jane Thomson
(1943-08-02) 2 August 1943 (age 78)
London, England
Alma materSorbonne
University of East Anglia (BA)
Notable awardsOrange Prize (2008)
Whitbread Award (1999)
Prix Femina Étranger (1994)
James Tait Black Memorial Prize (1992)
Sunday Express Book of the Year (1989)
Giles Cooper Award (1984)

Dame Rose Tremain DBE FRSL (born 2 August 1943) is an English novelist, short story writer, and former Chancellor of the University of East Anglia.[1]


Rose Tremain was born Rosemary Jane Thomson on 2 August 1943 in London to Viola Mabel Thomson and Keith Nicholas Home Thomson.[2] Her paternal great-grandfather is William Thomson, who was Archbishop of York from 1862 to 1890.[3]

She was educated at Francis Holland School, Crofton Grange School, the Sorbonne (1961–1962) and the University of East Anglia (BA, English Literature).[4] She later went on to teach creative writing at the University of East Anglia from 1988 to 1995, and was appointed Chancellor in 2013.[5]

She married Jon Tremain in 1971 and they had one daughter, Eleanor, born in 1972, who became an actress. The marriage lasted about five years. Her second marriage, to theatre director Jonathan Dudley, in 1982, lasted about nine years; and she has been with Richard Holmes since 1992.[6] She lives in Norfolk.[7][8]


Her influences include William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 1967 novel 100 Years of Solitude and the magical realism style.[6]

She is a historical novelist who approaches her subjects "from unexpected angles, concentrating her attention on unglamorous outsiders."[4]

In 2009, she donated the short story The Jester of Astapovo to Oxfam's "Ox-Tales" project, four collections of UK stories written by 38 authors. Her story was published in the "Earth" collection.[9]

She became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 1983.[2] Already Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE), Tremain was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) in the 2020 New Year Honours for services to writing.[10]

Awards and honours

Selected bibliography


Collections of short stories

For children



  1. ^ "Writer is new university chancellor". BBC News. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Tremain, Dame Rose, (born 2 Aug. 1943), novelist and playwright". WHO'S WHO & WHO WAS WHO. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U38001. ISBN 978-0-19-954088-4. Retrieved 2 August 2021.
  3. ^ "Thomson, William (1819–1890), archbishop of York". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. 2004. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/27330. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ a b Rustin, Susanna (9 May 2003). "Costume dramatist". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Novelist Rose Tremain appointed as new UEA chancellor". BBC News. 14 April 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  6. ^ a b Rustin, Susanna (10 May 2003). "Profile: Rose Tremain". The Guardian. Retrieved 24 November 2018.
  7. ^ Author Notes from 2002 Vintage edition of Sacred County.
  8. ^ Tonkin, Boyd (5 March 2010). "Journeys home: Rose Tremain reflects on the past and her present life writing in the south of France". The Independent. Retrieved 9 May 2014.
  9. ^ Oxfam: Ox-Tales Archived 20 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "No. 62866". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 December 2019. p. N8.
  11. ^ "Rose Tremain's 'Gustav Sonata' wins Ribalow Prize for Jewish fiction". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 25 January 2018. Retrieved 11 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Announcing the 2017 longlist..." Women's Prize for Fiction. 6 March 2017. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  13. ^ Cain, Sian (22 November 2016). "Costa book award 2016 shortlists dominated by female writers". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 11 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Past Winners - Fiction". Jewish Book Council. Retrieved 20 January 2020.
  15. ^ "Shortlist for 2013 Walter Scott Prize Announced". Borders Book Festival. Archived from the original on 7 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  16. ^ "Tan Twan Eng wins The Walter Scott Prize". Borders Book Festival. 14 June 2013. Archived from the original on 8 September 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.
  17. ^ Williams, Charlotte (15 October 2012). "Random House gets four nods for Wellcome Trust Book Prize". The Bookseller. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
  18. ^ Aspden, Peter (5 June 2008). "Tremain novel on plight of a migrant wins Orange prize". Irish Times.
  19. ^ "1989 | The Man Booker Prizes". Retrieved 11 May 2019.