An English writer with a degree in philosophy, politics, and economics from Oxford, Susanna Clarke won worldwide renown with her debut novel Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, winner of the World Fantasy Award.
Both her novel and her short story collection, The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, are set in an alternate 19th century England rediscovering its forgotten history of magic. Written in a Dickensian style, these books feature historical figures, undefinable magic both subtle and vulgar, deeply human characters and relationships, tragic twists, surprising turns, beautiful illustrations, and diverting footnotes.
J.S. & Mr. N. focuses on the sometimes stormy relationship of England's two greatest magicians: their scholarly debates, their petty disagreements, and their uniting love of magic. The Ladies of Grace Adieu focuses more on female protagonists and is a collection of stories combining English history, fairy tales, danger, and comedy. Not as daunting as Jonathan Strange, The Ladies of Grace Adieu is the perfect way to visit Clarke's England.
Clarke is reportedly at work on sequel of sorts which she says will focus on characters "a bit lower down the social scale".