Jill Paton Walsh's picture

Jill Paton Walsh

UK flag (1937 - 2020)

Jill Paton Walsh was born Gillian Bliss in London on April 29th, 1937. She was educated at St. Michael's Convent, North Finchley, and at St. Anne's College, Oxford. From 1959 to 1962 she taught English at Enfield Girls' Grammar School. In 1961 she married Anthony Paton Walsh; (now separated).

She won the Book World Festival Award, 1970, for Fireweed; the Whitbread Prize, 1974 (for a Children's novel) for The Emperor's Winding Sheet; The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award 1976 for Unleaving; The Universe Prize, 1984 for A Parcel of Patterns; and the Smarties Grand Prix, 1984, for Gaffer Samson's Luck.

She held an Arts Council Creative Writing Fellowship in 1976-8; was a 'permanent visiting faculty member' of the Centre for Children's Literature, Simmons College, Boston, Massachussetts from 1978 to 1986, was Gertrude Clarke Whittall lecturer at the Library of Congress in 1978, was a Whitbread Prize judge in 1984, was Chairman of the Cambridge Book Association from 1987 to 1989, and has served on the management committee of the Society of Authors. In 1996 she received the CBE for services to literature, and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.


Genres: Mystery, Children's Fiction
Series contributed to
Non fiction
Dagger Awards Best Book nominee (1985) : A Piece of Justice
Booker Prize Best Novel nominee (1994) : Knowledge of Angels

Jill Paton Walsh recommends
Poor Tom's Ghost (1977)
Jane Louise Curry
"All ends well with perfect emotional logic; who cares about the other sort where deep in a fast-moving and absorbing story like this one?"
The Society of Others (2004)
William Nicholson
"Extraordinary, a sort of wild combination of Kafka and THE CATCHER IN THE RYE ... The reader will not escape unchanged."

Visitors to this page also looked at these authors