Patricia Duncker is the author of Hallucinating Foucault (winner of the Dillons First Fiction Award and the McKitterick Prize in 1996), The Deadly Space Between, James Miranda Barry and Miss Webster and Chérif (shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 2007). She has written two books of short fiction, Monsieur Shoushana's Lemon Trees (shortlisted for the Macmillan Silver Pen Award in 1997) and Seven Tales of Sex and Death, and a collection of essays on writing and contemporary literature, Writing on the Wall. In 2010 she published The Strange Case of the Composer and His Judge (shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2010 and the Green Carnation Prize 2011). Her most recent novel, the critically acclaimed Sophie and the Sibyl: A Victorian Romance (2015), was also shortlisted for the Green Carnation Award 2015.

Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award 2020

The Russian translation of Patricia’s novel James Miranda Barry has been awarded The Yasnaya Polyana Literary Prize 2020. One of Russia’s most prestigious awards for literature, it is presented by the Leo Tolstoy Museum Estate with Samsung Electronics and recognises outstanding works in the foreign fiction category.

View The Yasnaya Polyana website (available in English and Russian)

View video of Patricia’s acceptance speech

Comments and press links

View photos from the 2020 award ceremony in Moscow (Yasnaya Polyana Museum website)

More info from agent David Higham Associates on Twitter


“It is a magnificent novel”

“This novel is about three important things: the strength of the human spirit, the mystery of fate and the enigmatic English soul. The book describes the extraordinary resilience of the English character, commitment to fate and the chosen path. The novel is very picturesque and cinematic. Each of the characters seems to stand before our eyes.

“It goes to the highest psychological summit”

“I would compare the scenes described from the child`s point of view with the similar scenes written by Tolstoy”

Links to Russian press and TV announcements (October 2020)


Writing and Translation

4 September 2021

Patricia took part in a Zoom conference on Writing and Translation, organised by her Russian translators, Alexandra Borisenko and Victor Sonkin at the HSE University, one of Russia's top universities. HSE hosts the first Russian MA-level course in Creative Writing and Translation. Patricia gave a presentation on Narrative Structures, her approach to writing fiction and discussed being an engaged, committed reader.

Patricia's 2nd novel, James Miranda Barry, won the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Award for Foreign Fiction in 2020 and her translators were also justly honoured and recognised by the prize committee. Patricia says: "Translation is an art and a gift. I want to thank my extraordinary Russian translators who have made my fiction accessible to Russian readers."

All Rights Reserved. Patricia Duncker 2021