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Joanne Harris - Author

About the Author

Joanne Harris was our Guest Editor in June 2012 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing.

Joanne Harris is the author of the Whitbread-shortlisted Chocolat (made into a major film starring Juliette Binoche), Blackberry Wine, Five Quarters of the Orange, Coastliners, Holy Fools, Jigs & Reels, and, with Fran Warde, The French Kitchen: A Cookbook. She lives in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, with her husband and daughter.

Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on JOANNE HARRIS

I have thoroughly enjoyed all Joanne Harris’s books but Gentlemen and Players I quite simply adored. I loved the character Roy Straightley, an aging Classic’s teacher with a dicky heart, clinging tenaciously to honest old values, his delightfully ironic sense of humour, his warmth, his dedication. In his secure hands we are led into such a gripping story with so many twist and turns that my only sadness was that it had to end.

Featured books by Joanne Harris

Different Class

Different Class

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback Release Date: 09/02/2017

With insolvency and academic failure looming, a new broom has arrived at the venerable school, bringing Powerpoint, sharp suits and even sixth form girls to the dusty corridors. But while Straitley does his sardonic best to resist this march to the future, a shadow from his past is stirring. A boy who even twenty years on haunts his teacher's dreams. A boy capable of bad things.

ebook of the month
The Gospel of Loki

The Gospel of Loki

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Hardback Release Date: 13/02/2014

The novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods - retold from the point of view of the world's ultimate trickster, Loki. It tells the story of Loki's recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.

A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String

A Cat, a Hat, and a Piece of String

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback Release Date: 16/01/2014

Stories are like Russian dolls; open them up, and in each one you'll find another story. Come to the house where it is Christmas all year round; meet the ghost who lives on a Twitter timeline; be spooked by a newborn baby created with sugar, spice and lashings of cake. Conjured from a wickedly imaginative pen, here is a new collection of short stories that showcases Joanne Harris' exceptional talent as a teller of tales, a spinner of yarns. Sensuous, mischievous, uproarious and wry, here are tales that combine the everyday with the unexpected; wild fantasy with bittersweet reality.

ebook of the month

Other books by Joanne Harris

Coastliners

Coastliners

Author: Joanne Harris Format: eBook Release Date: 16/08/2005

The island of Le Devin is shaped somewhat like a sleeping woman. At her head is the village of Les Salants, while the more prosperous village of La Houssinire lies at her feet. You could walk from one to the other in an hour, but they could not be farther apart, for between them lie years of animosity.The villagers of Les Salants say that if you kiss the feet of their patron saint and spit three times, something you've lost will come back to you. And so Madeleine, who grew up on the island, returns after an absence of ten years spent in Paris. She is haunted by this place and has never been able to feel at home anywhere else.But when she arrives, she finds her father -- who once built the fishing boats that fueled the village's livelihood -- has become more silent than ever, withdrawing almost completely. His decline seems reflected in the village itself, for when the only beach in Les Salants washed away, all of the tourists drifted to La Hodssinire.Madeleine, herself adrift for a long time, soon finds herself united with the village's other lost souls in a struggle for survival and salvation.Performed by Vivien Benesch

Jigs & Reels

Jigs & Reels

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/02/2005

Take your partners, please. Suburban witches, defiant old ladies, ageing monsters, suicidal Lottery winners, wolf men, dolphin women and middle-aged manufacturers of erotic leatherwear: in Joanne Harris's first collection of short stories the miraculous goes hand-in-hand with the mundane, the sour with the sweet, and the beautiful, the grotesque, the seductive and the disturbing are never more than one step away. This is an eclectic selection of tales for our times that shows a side to Joanne Harris you have never seen before. So go on, be tempted. After all, it's only dancing.

Sleep, Pale Sister

Sleep, Pale Sister

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/09/2004

Sleep, Pale Sister, a powerful, atmospheric and blackly gothic evocation of Victorian artistic life, was originally published before Joanne Harris achieved worldwide recognition with Chocolat. Henry Chester, a domineering and puritanical Victorian artist, is in search of the perfect model. In nine-year-old Effie he finds her. Ten years later, lovely, childlike and sedated, Effie seems the ideal wife. But something inside her is about to awaken. Drawn into a dangerous underworld of prostitution, murder and blackmail, she must finally plan her revenge.

Holy Fools

Holy Fools

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/12/2003

In seventeenth-century France, against a backdrop of witch trials, regicide and religious frenzy, Juliette, one-time actress and rope-dancer, seeks refuge with her young daughter in the remote abbey of Saint Marie-de-la-Mer, and reinvents herself as Soeur Auguste. Until a new Abbess is appointed, bringing with her a ghost from Juliette's past, a man she has every reason to fear.

Coastliners

Coastliners

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 04/10/2002

On the tiny Breton island of Le Devin, life has remained almost unchanged for over a hundred years. For generations, two rival communities have fought for control of the island's only beach. When Mado returns home ot her village after a ten-year absence, she finds it threatened, both by the tides and by a local entrepreneur. Worse, the community is suffering from an incurable loss of hope. Taking up the fight to transform the dying village, Mado must confront past tragedies, including the terrible secret that still haunts her father.

Five Quarters Of The Orange

Five Quarters Of The Orange

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 06/04/2001

Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow, plies her culinary trade at the creperie - and lets her memory play strange games. As her nephew attempts to exploit the growing success of the country recipes Framboise has inherited from her mother, a woman remembered with contempt by the villagers, memories of a disturbed childhood during the German Occupation flood back, and expose a past full of betrayal, blackmail and lies.

Chocolat

Chocolat

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/01/2001

Try me...Test me...Taste me. When an exotic stranger, Vianne Rocher, arrives in the French village of Lansquenet and opens a chocolate boutique directly opposite the church, Father Reynaud identifies her as a serious danger to his flock - especially as it is the beginning of Lent, the traditional season of self-denial. War is declared as the priest denounces the newcomer's wares as instruments of murder. Suddenly Vianne's shop-cum-cafe means that there is somewhere for secrets to be whispered, grievances to be aired, dreams to be tested. But Vianne's plans for an Easter Chocolate Festival divide the whole community in a conflict that escalates into a 'Church not Chocolate' battle. As mouths water in anticipation, can the solemnity of the Church compare with the pagan passion of a chocolate eclair? For the first time here is a novel in which chocolate enjoys its true importance, emerging as a moral issue, as an agent of transformation - as well as a pleasure bordering on obsession. Rich, clever and mischievous, this is a triumphant read.

Blackberry Wine

Blackberry Wine

Author: Joanne Harris Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 03/03/2000

Jay Mackintosh is trapped by memory in the old familiar landscape of his childhood, to which he longs to return. A bottle of home-brewed wine left to him by a long-vanished friend seems to provide the key to an old mystery. As the unusual properties of the strange brew take effect, Jay escapes to a derelict farmhouse in the French village of Lansquenet. There, a ghost from the past waits to confront him, and the reclusive Marise - haunted, lovely and dangerous - hides a terrible secret behind her closed shutters. Between them, a mysterious chemistry. Or could it be magic?