We are thrilled to welcome TRACY CHEVALIER, best-selling author of The Girl With A Pearl Earring and ten other novels to Writer’s Desk today at 5.00 p.m.
Tracy was born in October 1962 and grew up in Washington, DC, where her father was a photographer for the Washington Post. It’s a strange place to live if you’re not involved in politics. After graduating with a BA in English from Oberlin College in Ohio, she moved to London, and has lived there ever since, with her British husband and son. She now has dual nationality, but her accent is still American.
She worked for several years as a reference book editor, which taught her a lot about research, accuracy, and the importance of editing as part of the writing process. She put these lessons to use when she did an MA in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. She then juggled freelance editing with writing until her econd novel, Girl with a Pearl Earring, began to do well, and she was able to write full-time. Tracy has published 10 novels so far. She’s working on her 11th.
When asked about hobbies, she is always baffled at how to respond. Her life isn’t divided into work and play; it’s one jumbled free-for-all. If pressed she would say: quilting, though she makes them slowly and not particularly well. Gardening, though she is no good at keeping a tidy, show-stopping garden. She says she is much better at guerrilla gardening, shoving plants willy-nilly into the small public patch in front of my house. And of course, reading, which has been a constant all her life, like brushing my teeth or drinking water.
Today, we are fascinated to learn more about her life during Lockdown, why she is interested in Venetian glass beads – and, of course, THAT book, which is currently being serialised on Radio 4.