British Author (1941- )
Piers Paul Read, the third son of poet and art critic Herbert Read, was born in Beaconsfield on the 7th March 1941. He was educated at Ampleforth College and St John's College, Cambridge, where he read history. After graduation he spent two years in West Germany as the Artist in Residence at the Ford Foundation in Berlin from 1963 to 1964 and on his return to London was employed on The Times Literary Supplement as a sub-editor. He was later granted a Harkness Fellowship by the Commonwealth Fund and spent the years 1967 to 1968 in New York.His first novel Game in Heaven with Tussy Marx was published in 1966, and was described by The Times as "one of the most arresting British novels to have appeared in recent years".
Piers Paul Read has also written for television, including the TV plays Coincidence and The House on Highbury Hill included in the BBC Play for Today series. His novels, A Married Man and The Free Frenchman have been adapted for television whilst Monk Dawson, became a feature film. Perhaps his best known work was Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors which told the true story of Uruguayan Air Force flight 571 which crashed in the Andes mountains in 1972, sold five million copies across the world and was filmed as Alive in 1993.
Read is both a fellow and member of the council of the Royal Society of Literature, a member of the council of the Society of Authors and was previously a member of the Council of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (1971-75) and of the the Literature Panel at the Arts Council, (1975-77)
was chairman of the Catholic Writers' Guild (1992-97). He currently lives in London with his wife Emily Albertine and their four children.
Prizes and Awards
His novel The Junkers won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize in 1969, Monk Dawson won both the Hawthornden Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award for 1970, and A Season in the West won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction in 1988. He has also been awarded the Thomas More medal for distinguished contribution to Catholic literature.
- Game in Heaven with Tussy Marx, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1966
- The Junkers, Secker & Warburg, 1968
- Monk Dawson, Secker & Warburg, 1969
- The Professor's Daughter, Secker & Warburg, 1971
- The Upstart, Secker & Warburg, 1973
- Polonaise, Secker & Warburg, 1976
- The Train Robbers, W. H. Allen, 1978
- A Married Man, Secker & Warburg, 1979
- The Villa Golitsyn, Secker & Warburg, 1981
- The Free Frenchman, Secker & Warburg, 1986
- A Season in the West, Secker & Warburg, 1988
- On the Third Day, Secker & Warburg, 1990
- A Patriot in Berlin, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1995
- Knights of the Cross, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1997
- Alice in Exile, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001
- Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, Secker & Warburg, 1974
- Quo Vadis? The Subversion of the Catholic Church, Claridge Press, 1991
- Ablaze: The Story of Chernobyl, Secker & Warburg, 1993
- The Templars, Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1999
- Alec Guinness, Simon & Schuster, 2003
- Hell and Other Destinations, Ignatius, 2006