Kate Atkinson, MBE (born 20 December 1951) is an award-winning English writer. Atkinson was born in York, the daughter of a shopkeeper. She studied English literature at the University of Dundee, gaining her master's degree in 1974. Atkinson subsequently studied for a doctorate in American literature, entitled "The post-modern American short story in its historical context". She has often spoken publicly that she failed at the viva (oral examination) stage. After leaving the university, she took on a variety of jobs from home help to legal secretary and teacher.She won the Whitbread Book of the Year prize in 1995 and, under its new name the Costa Book Awards, in 2013 and 2015 in the Novels category.
â€œUrsula craved solitude but she hated loneliness, a conundrum that she couldnâ€™t even begin to solve.â€
â€œThe beginning is the word and the end is silence. And in between are all the stories.â€
â€œI feel as if Iâ€™m waiting for something dreadful to happen, and then I realize it already has.â€
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