The Library

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami

Diana Souhami has worked in publishing and her plays have been produced on television and radio and in fringe theatres in London, Edinburgh and Bristol. She has published short stories and was theatre and literary critic for City Limits.

She devised and researched the British Council exhibition “A Woman’s Place: The Changing Picture of Women in Britain”. Following the success of that exhibition, she wrote a book with the same title, published by Penguin Books in 1986.

GLUCK: HER BIOGRAPHY was published by Pandora Press in 1989. Gluck was born Hannah Gluckstein in 1895 into the family that founded the J Lyons & Co catering empire. She was a rebel. She dressed as a man, had passionate love affairs with society women and exhibited her paintings only in “one man” shows.

Diana has also written GERTRUDE AND ALICE (Pandora 1990) – a portrait of the love affair between Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein (Pandora Press).

In 1994 Random House published GRETA AND CECIL – a study of the romance between Greta Garbo and the society photographer Cecil Beaton that ended in obsession and betrayal.

Diana’s fourth book, MRS KEPPEL AND HER DAUGHTER, is a joint biography of Alice Keppel and her daughter Violet Trefusis (HarperCollins 1996). It won the US Lambda Literary Award and was a New York Times “Notable Book of the Year”).

In THE TRIALS OF RADCLYFFE HALL, Diana brings a fresh and irreverent eye to the life of this remarkable and troubled figure, who was the author of The Well of Loneliness. A brilliantly written, witty and satirical biography, it was shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Biography and won the US Lambda Literary Award.

In 2001 Diana published SELKIRK’S ISLAND, which went on to win the Whitbread Prize for biography.

WILD GIRLS (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) is a defining biography of Natalie Barney and Romaine Brooks – pivotal figures in the cultural life of Paris in the 1920s and 30s.

COCONUT CHAOS: Pitcairn, Mutiny And A Seduction At Sea was published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson in 2007. This singular tale connects the famous mutiny on the Bounty in the Pacific Ocean in 1789 to the plight of the islanders of Pitcairn now.

In EDITH CAVELL (Quercus, 2010) Diana Souhami brings one of the Great War’s finest heroes to life in this biography of a hardworking, courageous and independent woman. It won the EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book of the Year award.

MURDER AT WROTHAM HILL takes the killing in October 1946 of Dagmar Petrzywalski as the catalyst for a compelling and unique meditation on murder and fate. It was published in September 2012 by Quercus.

Diana lives in London. Her first novel is a bravura re-imagining of the life of one of English literature’s most multi-faceted and contradictory heroines: GWENDOLEN was recently published by Quercus.