Marcelle Bernstein

Novelist, Non-fiction writer

Marcelle Bernstein is an internationally bestselling novelist, non-fiction writer and journalist who finds each discipline nourishes the others. She relishes the extraordinary experiences of her worklife, from being helicoptered onto a North Sea oilrig to standing on picket lines with Mexican farmworkers facing vicious attacks from the Teamsters’ Union in California’s Coachella Valley. She writes freelance pieces for many newspapers and magazines, including the Washington Post and the Daily Telegraph. Her Observer Magazine interviews in the 1960s featured iconic figures: Dusty Springfield, Elisabeth Frink, Odette, Liza Minnelli, the Pythons. Writers she has interviewed include Jean Rhys, Agatha Christie, Paul Gallico, Roald Dahl. For her documentary book Nuns, she lived in a Carmelite convent, went into French prisons, Spanish circuses, Harlem and the Chicago housing projects.

Many novels followed: Sadie won an Arts Council first novel award; Body & Soul became a major television series with Kristin Scott Thomas, winning a Silver Bear; Sacred & Profane was filmed with Gérard Depardieu as Pacte du Silence. Her books are translated into 23 languages. She has been a Hawthornden Fellow; appears on radio and television; teaches creative writing and media and runs workshops on Fact-based Storytelling at City University London.

Current projects are two novels — one charting an abusive Orthodox Jewish marriage, the other on Marc Chagall’s lover — and a personal recollection of Jean Rhys. She is married to investigative journalist and novelist Eric Clark.

Marcelle Bernstein

Fellowships

University of Greenwich 2016/17
University of Greenwich 2009-12