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Rachel Joyce

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Rachel Joyce has written over 20 original afternoon plays for BBC Radio 4, and major adaptations for both the Classic Series, Woman's Hour and also a TV drama adaptation for BBC 2. In 2007 she won the Tinniswood Award for best radio play.She moved to writing after a twenty-year career in theatre and television, performing leading roles for the RSC, the Royal National Theatre, The Royal Court, and Cheek by Jowl, winning a Time Out Best Actress award and the Sony Silver.

Genres: Literary Fiction

Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (2012) : The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
Desmond Elliott Prize Best Book nominee (2012) : The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry

Rachel Joyce recommends
A Spool of Blue Thread (2015)
Anne Tyler
"Anne Tyler is one of my favourite writers and this is a delicious book. It is like being with a dear old friend. It is very special."
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (2016)
Joanna Cannon
"Part whodunnit, part coming of age, this is a gripping debut about the secrets behind every door."
My Name Is Leon (2016)
Kit de Waal
"Tender and heart-breaking."
This Must Be the Place (2016)
Maggie O'Farrell
"Inventive, moving and hilarious. I loved it."
The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night (2017)
Jen Campbell
"Interwoven with myth and fairy tale, these stories are surprising, delightful, and by turns dangerous and joyful, like walking through a mirror and discovering a world that you both recognise and have never seen before."
White Chrysanthemum (2018)
Mary Lynn Bracht
"I read Hana and Emi's story with my heart in my mouth... A bold, devastating, important novel shot through with hope and beauty."
Tomorrow (2018)
Damian Dibben
"Ornate, vivid, deeply colored, and so precise I could smell and taste the world ... the story of a dog crossing continents and centuries in search of the man he loves is moving and tender. I was captivated by its charm from the beginning."
Meet Me At the Museum (2018)
Anne Youngson
"A moving tribute to friendship and love, to the courage of the ordinary, and to starting again."
A Place for Us (2018)
Fatima Farheen Mirza
"Beautiful, intimate, tender. So vividly told the characters live and breathe."
The Distance Home (2018)
Paula Saunders
"Set in a landscape at once stark and beautiful, here is a luminous novel about the intricacies of family life and family love . . . Heartbreaking, full of compassion, and prose that feels it has always been there, not even forged from nothing, but essentially true. I haven’t read anything this good in a long time."
The Heavens (2019)
Sandra Newman
"I was gripped, moved, terrified and finally uplifted by this glittering, unforgettable story."
The Snakes (2019)
Sadie Jones
"Masterful, terrifying, dangerous, with an ending that is as uncompromising as the build-up is truthful. The Snakes is as beautifully written as it is dark and honest."
Coming Up For Air (2020)
Sarah Leipciger
"From the first page, I was gripped not only by the scale of the narrative but the sheer fierce beauty of the writing. Here is a novel that dares to cross the boundaries of time, the elements, life and death, and does so with the twists and hooks and magic of a consummate story teller."
Surrogate (2021)
Susan Spindler
"A brilliantly structured, fast-paced and addictively compelling read. I loved the ending most of all."
I Couldn't Love You More (2021)
Esther Freud
"This exquisite family saga reads as a love letter between four generations of women. Everything is here; family ghosts, the bond between mothers and daughters, cruelty, endurance, the difficulty of love, and a faith in the possibility of healing - even after years of separation. This tender, elegant book delivers an emotional punch that left me in tears."
This Shining Life (2021)
Harriet Kline
"An exquisitely beautiful and compelling novel about love, loss, and life."
The Paper Palace (2021)
Miranda Cowley Heller
"Beautifully written, richly compelling, The Paper Palace is as dark and uncompromising as it is tender and lyrical. Here is a love triangle that keeps you turning the pages, a vivid evocation of place, and an exploration of the one of the most unsettling of secrets."
The Impossible Truths of Love (2021)
Hannah Beckerman
"A page turner of a story, deeply felt, finely woven, and sharp as a tack about the unspoken conflict and isolation within families, as well as the lengths people can be driven by both love and loss. It made me think too about the nature of memory; about what exactly we own and what we assume or even imagine. It’s an unflinching book and all the better for it."
The Fell (2021)
Sarah Moss
"The Fell reflects the lives we have been living for the last 18 months in a way no other writer has dared to do. There is wit, there is compassion, there is a tension that builds like a pressure cooker. This slim, intense masterpiece is one of my best books of the year."
Think of Me (2022)
Frances Liardet
"An epic and intensely moving novel that crosses the boundaries of place and time to weave a powerful story about overcoming the complications of love and grief - the things we try to spare one another, the things we cannot bear to see. It's a warm book, an intelligent one, richly observed, clear-eyed, and the generosity of its final pages moved me to tears."
Mother's Boy (2022)
Patrick Gale
"Mother's Boy beautifully celebrates the underdog. It is a celebration of love in hidden places, and love in ordinary places, and the courage required to be true to the person you are, when there is no road map to guide you. A sublime piece of storytelling."
Drift (2022)
Caryl Lewis
"A tender, unusual and gorgeously wrought love story."
Lessons in Chemistry (2022)
Bonnie Garmus
"Lessons in Chemistry is a vibrant and original story of hope and staying true to yourself. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and brimming with life and generosity and courage."
The Queen of Dirt Island (2022)
Donal Ryan
"I think you have to truly love people to write like this."
Bournville (2022)
Jonathan Coe
"Wickedly funny, clever, tender and lyrical."

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