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Jessica Duchen's picture

Jessica Duchen

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Jessica was born in London, where her parents settled after leaving South Africa in the 1950s. She regrets that she can't remember her encounter with JR Tolkein in Oxford at the age of six, which has become a family legend. She first tried to write a novel at the age of 12. Her efforts soon found their way into the hands of a distinguished author and a literary agent, who both provided valuable encouragement. After studying at Cambridge, she worked as an editor in music publishing and magazines until going freelance to develop her writing.

Her novels focus on the tensions and cross-currents between family generations, ranging from a painful exploration of the effects of anorexia (Rites of Spring) and the rearing of a child prodigy (Alicia's Gift) to the long-term effects of displacement and cultural clashes (Hungarian Dances and Songs of Triumphant Love).

As a journalist, she writes regularly for The Independent and has interviewed most of the world's finest musicians. Her work appears frequently in BBC Music Magazine, The Strad and Classic FM Magazine; she has also contributed to The Guardian, The New Statesman and Gramophone. She has given pre-concert talks at the Barbican, Wigmore and Royal Festival Halls and served on the juries of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and the BBC Music Magazine CD Awards.
Non fiction