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Patricia Ferguson

Novelist, Short-story writer

Patricia Ferguson has published seven novels and a collection of short stories. Much of her writing has been influenced by her work as a nurse and midwife; quite a few of her characters end up in hospital one way or another. Her first novel Family Myths and Legends (Deutsch, 1985) won the David Higham prize, and a Betty Trask and Somerset Maugham award. Three of the stories in her collection about nursing, Indefinite Nights (Deutsch, 1987), were broadcast on Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. Over the years several further stories have been broadcast and also published in anthologies such as The Penguin Book of Modern Women’s Short Stories, edited by Susan Hill in 1991, and Great Escapes (Collins and Brown, 2008).

Two stories were recorded before a live audience for the Bath Literature Festival, one read by Patricia herself in agonies of nerves you can read about on the blog she wrote for the Independent newspaper in March 2012. Two of Patricia’s novels — It So Happens (Solidus, 2004) and Peripheral Vision (Solidus, 2007) — have been longlisted for the Orange prize, and Peripheral Vision was selected for discussion on BBC Radio 4’s A Good Read in November 2011. Patricia’s most successful book in terms of sales is The Midwife’s Daughter (Penguin, 2012), which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime. The sequel is Aren’t We Sisters? (Penguin, 2014).

Patricia Ferguson is a former Hawthornden Fellow and for many years has taught creative writing for the University of Bristol’s lifelong learning department.

Patricia Ferguson



University of Reading 2009-12
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