Tessa Hadley: Biography

Tessa Hadley

Tessa Hadley is a British author who was born on 28th February, 1956, the daughter of a teacher and amateur jazz trumpeter and an amateur artist. Hadley attended Clare College at the University of Cambridge where she studied for a BA in English Literature before going on to gain a PCGE. She worked as a teacher before marrying Eric Hadley, the lecturer and playwright. In 1993, Hadley enrolled at Bath Spa University to study an MA in Creative Writing before gaining her PhD from UWE in 1998.

Hadley’s first novel, Accidents in the Home, was first published in in 2002 by Picador. It follows the lives of the members of a ‘thoroughly modern family’ over the course of a year. It was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award in the year of its publication. She has since written 5 more novels, several collections of short stories and a non-fiction book about the works of Henry James.

Tessa Hadley has been recognised for her literary career by being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature as well as a Fellow of the Welsh Academy. She was also awarded the Windham-Campbell Literature Prize for fiction in 2016. She has sat on the judging panels of many different literary prizes including the O. Henry Prize for short stories and the Wellcome Book Prize.

Tessa Hadley continues to write and publish novels, as well as working as a lecturer on the creative writing course at Bath Spa University. She specialises in teaching the works of novelist and short-fiction writers who were prominent literary figures in the early 20th century.