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Biography

Crime novelist P. D. James was born in Oxford on 3 August 1920, the eldest daughter of an Inland Revenue Official. The family moved to Cambridge when she was 11, where she attended the Cambridge High School for Girls. She worked for the National Health Service (1949-68) and the Civil Service until 1979 when she began to work as a full-time writer. She was a Governor for the BBC (1988-93), and Chairman of the Literature Adjames_pdvisory Panel at both the Arts Council of England (1988-92) and the British Council (1988-93). She was awarded the OBE in 1983 and created a Life Peer (Baroness James of Holland Park) in 1991. Baroness James is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and chaired the Booker Prize Panel of Judges in 1987. She has been President of the Society of Authors since 1997. She has received the following honorary degrees: Doctor of Letters from the Universities of Buckingham 1992; Hertfordshire 1994; Glasgow 1995; Durham 1998, Portsmouth 1999. Doctor of Literature from the University of London 1993; Doctor of the University, Essex 1996. She was made an Associate Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge (1986) and an Honorary Fellow (2000). She is also an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda's College, Oxford (1996) and of Girton College, Cambridge (2000).

Her novels include a series of books featuring the Scotland Yard policeman Commander Adam Dalgliesh. Her latest Commander Dalgliesh mystery is The Private Patient (2008).

P. D. James has been awarded major prizes for her crime writing in Great Britain, America, Italy and Scandinavia. In 1999 she received the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award for long term achievement. She is published widely overseas including the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, Holland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Argentina.

Bibliography

Cover Her Face   Faber and Faber, 1962

A Mind to Murder   Faber and Faber, 1963

Unnatural Causes   Faber and Faber, 1967

Shroud for a Nightingale   Faber and Faber, 1971

The Maul and the Pear Tree: The Ratcliffe Highway Murders, 1811   (with Thomas A. Critchley)   Constable, 1971

An Unsuitable Job for a Woman   Faber and Faber, 1972

The Black Tower   Faber and Faber, 1975

Death of an Expert Witness   Faber and Faber, 1977

Innocent Blood   Faber and Faber, 1980

The Skull beneath the Skin   Faber and Faber, 1982

A Taste for Death   Faber and Faber, 1986

Devices and Desires   Faber and Faber, 1989

The Children of Men   Faber and Faber, 1992

Original Sin   Faber and Faber, 1994

A Certain Justice   Faber and Faber, 1997

Time to Be in Earnest: A Fragment of Autobiography   Faber and Faber, 1999

Death in Holy Orders   Faber and Faber, 2001

The Murder Room   Faber and Faber, 2003

The Lighthouse   Faber and Faber, 2005

The Private Patient   Faber and Faber, 2008

Prizes and awards

1971   Best Novel Award, Mystery Writers of America   Shroud for a Nightingale

1971   Crime Writers' Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction   Shroud for a Nightingale

1973   Mystery Writers of America Best Novel Award   An Unsuitable Job for a Woman

1975   Crime Writers' Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction   The Black Tower

1986   Crime Writers' Association Macallan Silver Dagger for Fiction   A Taste for Death

1986   Mystery Writers of America Best Novel Award   A Taste for Death

1987   Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger   (lifetime achievement award)

1992   Deo Gloria Award   The Children of Men

1999   Grandmaster Award, Mystery Writers of America

2002   WH Smith Literary Award   (shortlist)   Death in Holy Orders

2005   British Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year   (shortlist)   The Murder Room

2006   British Book Awards Crime Thriller of the Year   (shortlist)   The Lighthouse

2006   Crime Writers' Association Short Story Dagger   (shortlist - 'The Part-Time Job')

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