Writer, journalist and novelist. Susan Elizabeth Hill was born at Scarborough in Yorkshire. For part of her education she attended a grammar school in Coventry before studying English at the University of London, gaining her degree in 1963. Her first book, The enclosure (1961) was quite well received and on leaving university she became book review editor for the Coventry Evening Telegraph. After five years in this post she turned full-time to her writing. She won many awards for her work during the 1960's and early 1970's but with the death of someone with whom she had been very close resulted in a period of grieving, finding some release in her novel In the springtime of the year, published in 1974. She announced that she would give up writing and in 1975 married Stanley Wells, a Shakespeare scholar. However, her creative output continued, particularly in non-fiction and plays for radio. She began writing novels again in the early 1980's, with the successful The woman in black (1983), a ghost story.
In her work, a backdrop of English life is shown in a less than comfortable way, with much suffering and violence. Strange meeting (1971), for example, is set in the trenches of First World War France and takes its inspiration from the poetry of Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon. The story of two officers, its title is taken directly from one of Wilfred Owen's most memorable poems.
The following works are available in the West Midlands Creative Literature Collection:-
The albatross and other stories (1971)
The bird of night (1972)
A bit of singing and dancing (1973)
Can it be true? (1988) [for children]
A change for the better (1969)
The cold country, and other plays for radio (1975)
Gentleman and ladies (1968)
I'm the king of the castle (1970)
In the springtime of the year (1974)
Lanterns across the snow (1987) [Non-fiction]
The lighting of the lamps (1987) [Essays]
The magic apple tree: a country year (1982) [Non-fiction]
Mother's magic (1986) [for children]
One night at a time (1984) [for children]
Strange meeting (1971)
Through the kitchen window (1984) [Non-fiction]
The woman in black (1983)
Page created 9 February 2001 and last
updated 28 October 2002
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