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.


Out Now

A new Bloomsbury paperback edition of the provocative and entertaining collection of dark tales – Seven Tales of Sex and Death.

Illuminating the dark side of the erotic, these interwoven stories explore obsession, violence, and the thin line between sex and death. Under a Mediterranean sun a man searches for the Temple of Zeus as his wife awaits her stalker; a sex worker at an illegal fetish club contemplates her options; a strike spirals out of control with eerie consequences; and a conflict with noisy neighbours reaches theatrical heights.

Driven by lust, greed and revenge, chillingly calm or maddened by rage, Patricia Duncker’s characters use every tool at their disposal to get what they want. Unapologetically disturbing and provocative like the B movies that inspired them, Seven Tales of Sex and Death holds up a mirror to humanity at its most flawed, ruthless and seductive.

‘Duncker is a mistress of suspense’ Maggie O’Farrell

‘Dark, subversive … You will be left reeling’ The Observer

‘This collection of stories confirms Patricia Duncker as one of Britain’s leading fiction writers … She explores areas of our psyches that we all recognise but mostly choose to ignore. She should be required reading’ Financial Times

‘A wonderfully engaging and rewarding collection, shot through with wit and perversity’ Michael Arditti, Independent

‘A febrile, fascinating, disquieting read. It asserts itself for what it is: serious stuff, to be read in one gulp and then mulled over for days’ Maggie O’Farrell

‘Confident and bewitching … Duncker is forging her own brand of fiction, a sort of gender-bending, intellectually exuberant English-French hybrid’ Joanna Briscoe, The Guardian

‘Patricia Duncker writes beautifully with a flamboyant immediacy’ Sunday Telegraph

‘Dark and salacious … They capture brilliantly the moment in everyday situations where our minds cease to occupy reality and shift into the fantasy projections of our fervently active imaginations’ The Times.


January 2018

The Women who 'Meant to Do It': George Eliot and Celebrity Performance

Wolfson College, Oxford

Patricia gave the keynote lecture for the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing in November 2017. The recording of the lecture can now be downloaded from the Wolfson College website.

Download the podcast

View the OCLW Podcast Archive


Sophie and the Sibyl

sophie-cropThe paperback edition of Sophie and the Sibyl is now available in paperback from Bloomsbury.


Read the reviews of Patricia's latest novel

Ten Things that shape my writing

Patricia talks about Sophie and the Sibyl and more on the Female First website


psychobookcrop1Patricia has contributed to Psychobook, available from Redstone Press.


View the Redstone Press Psychobook website

View the advertisement and description page