News and Events Archive: 2017-2020


James Miranda Barry: Literary Prize

The Russian translation of Patricia’s novel James Miranda Barry has been awarded The Yasnaya Polyana Literary Prize 2020. One of Russia’s most prestigious awards for literature, it is presented by the Leo Tolstoy Museum Estate with Samsung Electronics and recognises outstanding works in the foreign fiction category.

View The Yasnaya Polyana website (available in English and Russian)

View the video of Patricia’s acceptance speech

Comments and press links

View photos from the 2020 award ceremony in Moscow (Yasnaya Polyana Museum website)

More info from agent David Higham Associates on Twitter


“It is a magnificent novel”

“This novel is about three important things: the strength of the human spirit, the mystery of fate and the enigmatic English soul. The book describes the extraordinary resilience of the English character, commitment to fate and the chosen path. The novel is very picturesque and cinematic. Each of the characters seems to stand before our eyes.

“It goes to the highest psychological summit”

“I would compare the scenes described from the child`s point of view with the similar scenes written by Tolstoy”

‍ DECEMBER 2019 

Herstory Re-Imagined

16-17 December. King's College, London

A Conference on Women's Lives in Biographical Fiction and Film. Patricia will be a keynote speaker at the event.

View the Herstory Re-Imagined Website

‍ MAY 2019 

Victorian Ideologies in Contemporary British Cultures

Christina Flotmann-Scholz, Anna Lienen (Eds.)

‘Victorian’ is often used synonymously with ‘outdated’ today. However, some of the ideologies underlying contemporary social structures still seem to be heavily influenced by 19th-century thinking. The volume looks at Victorian and contemporary ‘texts’ to explore this ideological continuity. Apart from Neo-Victorian novellas, comics and TV series which openly take up Victorian concerns, the articles also foreground contemporary material less obviously ‘Victorian’, such as advertisements or the novels of the ‘black male underclass’.

At the same time the contributors show how texts from both eras can also contain ‘structures of feeling’ which contradict dominant Victorian ideologies. Topics discussed range from gender, class and ethnicity to questions of seriality, spatiality and spirituality–issues significant both during the Victorian period and after. The volume also features an interview with British author and academic Patricia Duncker on how the Victorians and Victorianism have shaped her life and writings. 

Winter Heidelberg website

‍ MARCH 2019 

Brexit and Now What?

29 March, 7:30pm. Literaturhaus Berlin (Li-Be)

Patricia will participate with other writers in this event on the eve of Brexit. On the theme of 'And Now What?' the readings, music and discussions will continue until midnight. A cooperation with the Humboldt University Berlin's Centre for British Studies, the University of Oxford's Faculty of English, Torch, the SAND Journal, and Deveron Projects

View the Li-Be Website

‍ DECEMBER 2018 

Beginning The Bicentenary: George Eliot in Geneva

7-8 December, University of Geneva

Patricia will be a keynote speaker at the two day George Eliot colloquium hosted by the University of Geneva in Switzerland.

Download programme


BBC Proms Plus

Sunday 2 September, BBC Radio

Patricia will be part of a discussion with Belinda Bauer on 'Sex and Death in Literature’. The event will be at Imperial College, London. An edited version will be broadcast during the evening's prom concert interval.

Visit the BBC Radio website to listen now

‍ DECEMBER 2017 

Celebrity Culture Workshop

1-2 December, University of Zurich

Patricia will be talking about George Eliot and her novel Sophie and the Sibyl at the  Celebrity Culture Workshop December 1st-2nd 2017, The English Seminar, The University of Zurich. She will be presenting her work alongside her colleagues, Professor Elisabeth Bronfen, Professor Mary Luckhurst and Dr Sandra Mayer.

View the University of Zurich website

View the programme

‍ NOVEMBER 2017 

Women Writing About Sex

21 November at the British Library, London

Patricia will be participating in a discussion chaired by novelist Michèle Roberts. Other guests are Eimear McBride and Leone Ross. Non-member tickets can be bought from the British Library website.

View the Royal Society of Literature website

‍ NOVEMBER 2017 

Life Writing and Female Celebrity

4 November at Wolfson College, Oxford 

Patricia will be giving the keynote lecture for the Oxford Centre for Life-Writing at this half-day colloquium. The programme and poster can be downloaded from the website. 

View the OCLW website

‍ OCTOBER 2017 

How I Fell in Love With Opera

17 October on BBC Radio 3 (at 22:45 then listen online)

Patricia will be talking about Death in Venice, the novella by Thomas Mann and the opera by Benjamin Britten. She uses operas in her own novels as metaphors which inform the meanings of her books. She has been in love with opera since her first visit to Covent Garden in 1975 when she heard Sir Peter Pears singing Aschenbach in Britten's Death in Venice.

Monday 16 - Friday 20 October 2017

In a special edition of The Essay, five individuals reflect on how they fell in love with opera for the first time. The contributors include journalist and writer Rachel Cooke and award-winning novelist Julian Barnes, who examines how he came to opera through the a bereavement. Actor David Threlfall (best known for portraying Frank Gallagher in the television series Shameless) and writer Garth Greenwell consider the impact of their experiences with the art form, the latter discussing how opera provided him with the "antidote" for his "training" in the ideals of masculinity he was taught growing up in Kentucky. Novelist Patricia Duncker explores the relationship between opera and the novel as art-forms.

View the BBC website

‍ AUGUST 2017 

Fiction: Tutored Retreat

7-12 August at Lumb Bank, West Yorkshire

Patricia will be tutor on this Arvon writing retreat. Co-tutored with Andrew Cowan and Guest Reader, Rose Tremain.

View the Arvon Centre website

‍ JUNE 2017 

Contemporary British Fiction

11-14 June at Paderborn University, Germany

Patricia will be visiting the University of Paderborn Germany to work with Professor Merle Tönnies' students on contemporary British Fiction. 

‍ MARCH 2017 

Meet The Author

31 March at the English Language Library in Angers, France

Patricia will be appearing at two events in the library, an informal talk in the morning followed by a discussion with a small group in the afternoon (limited places). 

View the Angers Library website

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