Rose Tremain is arguably one of this country’s finest novelists and, as it happens, has a number of East Anglian connections. She taught creative writing at the UEA between 1988 and 1995, was awarded an honorary LittD by the university in 2000 and served as its Chancellor between 2013 and 2016. She and her husband, the biographer Richard Holmes, still have a home in Norwich.
Rose Tremain was on Granta Magazine’s listing of the ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ in 1983 (in retrospect a very percipient list which also included the likes of Martin Amis, Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan, Pat Barker, Kazuo Ishiguro and Salman Rushdie). Her many novels and short story collections have drawn acclaim and won literary prizes. The best-known include the splendid Restoration (1989) set during the reign of Charles II and telling the story of Robert Merivel, an anatomy student and Court favourite who falls in love with the King's mistress. The novel won the Angel Literary Award, the Sunday Express Book of the Year award and was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. It was made into a film in 1996.
Of Rose Tremain’s many other brilliant novels I’d like to pick one more for special mention: Sacred Country (1992), winner of both the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and the prestigious French literary award, the Prix Fémina Etranger. This moving book is what we’d now fairly straightforwardly call a ‘transgender novel’ about a young girl's crisis of gender and identity. When published, though, I don’t think there was anyone else tackling a hugely sensitive subject and creating from it what GoodReads calls a ‘remarkable and intimate, emotional yet unsentimental novel’. This is definitely one of my top 100 novels of all time and, I’d have thought, a fascinating book club read.
Competition: WIN £100 to spend on books and a pair of tickets to Afternoon Tea with Rose Tremain at Jarrold
We’re delighted, in conjunction with Rose Tremain’s publisher, to be offering Jarrold customers an opportunity to win a £100 voucher to spend on books at Jarrold, as well a pair of tickets to our afternoon tea event with Rose (valued at £43 and including a copy of her memoir, Rosie).
To enter, all you need do is follow @JarroldsNorwich on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram and tag @JarroldsNorwich in a post about your most memorable childhood memory.
Closing date for entries will be midnight on Sunday 1st April 2018. The winner will be informed on Monday 2nd April. The Jarrold marketing team’s decision is final. There is no cash alternative
Good luck with your entries.