Biography of Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier was born in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 1962. Her father was a photographer, and she has two siblings. Chevalier studied English literature at Oberlin College, graduating with a B.A. in 1984. After graduation she moved to England where worked in the publishing industry while writing short stories in her spare time. In 1993, she quit her publishing job to study creative writing, and completed a M.A. in Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.

Her first novel, The Virgin Blue, was published in 1997. This was followed in 1999 by The Girl with a Pearl Earring, still her most successful work to date. Since then, Chevalier has published another 6 novels, as well as editing 2 collections of short stories and curating 3 art exhibitions. Chevalier generally writes historical fiction, although the settings of her books range from medieval France to 19th century Ohio. As of 2016, Chevalier was one of the writers participating in the Hogarth Shakespeare project, where contemporary writers produce adaptations of Shakespearean plays; she is at work on a novel that retells the story of Othello.

Chevalier lives in London with her husband and son. She was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2008, and received an honorary doctorate in 2013.

Study Guides on Works by Tracy Chevalier