Susan Hill

Standard Name: Hill, Susan
Birth Name: Susan Elizabeth Hill
Married Name: Susan Elizabeth Wells
SH began publishing very young, and has been extraordinarily prolific throughout the second half of the twentieth century and into the twenty-first. She started off as a novelist and short-story writer, and then branched out into other genres, particularly children's writing, but also radio plays, scholarly and editorial work, cooking and gardening books, and travel writing. In fiction, she has made her own a territory of mutely suffering protagonists too eccentric, powerless, or impaired (emotionally, intellectually or physically) to engineer their escape from emotional pain and despair. (Attempts at escape generally fail.) Many of her characters (including children and old people) are isolated; relationships are often based on tormenting or exaggerated dependence. Her social settings are often unparticularised by date, but are apparently a kind of old-fashioned present; other fictions inhabit the past. She works with both the bleakly realistic and quotidian, and with atmospheres of gothic uncanniness, but her typical narrating voice remains steadfastly detached.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Anthologization Mary Lavin
Sixty-four of ML 's short stories were published in magazines before most of them were collected in volumes. She was a frequent contributor to Atlantic Monthly, the Dublin Magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and...
Anthologization Mary Lavin
The London edition followed from Michael Joseph the next year, with a Reader's Union edition two years after that. There are several modern editions. A Town House paperback of 1996 has a new introduction by...
Dedications Rose Tremain
It is dedicated to Brenda and David Reid ; those whom RT thanks include Susan Hill for introducing me to her helpful and courteous police contacts.
Tremain, Rose. The Road Home. Vintage.
Friends, Associates Joanna Trollope
She still has the same core group of close friends she's had for the past thirty years, and many friends in the world of writing. The latter includeSusan Hill and Jilly Cooper .
Joanna Trollope. The official website of Joanna Trollope OBE.
Intertextuality and Influence Charlotte Brontë
Jane Eyre has been filmed repeatedly for both television and the cinema, as well as being made the subject of musicals, plays, and a ballet performed by the London Children's Ballet in 1997 and 2008...
Intertextuality and Influence Daphne Du Maurier
Rebecca was DDM 's best known work, earning her massive profits, and it has become one of the most widely read novels of all time.
Kelly, Richard. Daphne du Maurier. Twayne.
The Times Literary Supplement reviewer wrote: In its kind...
Literary responses Pamela Hansford Johnson
Some reviewers accused PHJ , with some reason, of repetition and of stretching out material already thin.
Lindblad, Ishrat. Pamela Hansford Johnson. Twayne.
But Susan Hill in The Times celebrated her for her wisdom, perceptiveness, imagination, and freedom from showy...
Literary responses Nina Bawden
A sequel, Rebel on a Rock, 1978, was welcomed by Susan Hill (who thought it excellent although not one of NB 's best) with praise of her unfailing inventiveness, sympathy, subtlety, and sheer good...
Literary responses Flora Macdonald Mayor
Critics have often bracketed The Third Miss Symons and The Rector's Daughter together as FMM 's masterpieces, in their terse prose style and resistance to stereotypes of spinsterhood. Victoria Glendinning , reviewing Oldfield's life of...
Literary responses Patricia Beer
PB thought that she lacked the particular skills needed for dialogue and for imagining herself into the mind of a character; but this novel suggests that she under-estimated herself.
Sherry, Vincent B., editor. Dictionary of Literary Biography 40. Gale Research.
Reviewer Susan Hill appreciated the...
Literary responses Flora Macdonald Mayor
One of the stories, The Kind Action of Mr. Robinson, has been judged one of the finest in the language.
Keith, Rhonda. British Novelists 1890-1929: Modernists. Editor Staley, Thomas F., Gale Research Company, pp. 169-71.
But in spite of a preface by M. R. James , Susan Hill
Literary responses Nancy Mitford
This enormously successful was also well reviewed. It was a Book Society Choice, and earned NM over £7,000 in the first six months, funding her move from England to Paris.
Hastings, Selina. Nancy Mitford: A Biography. Hamish Hamilton.
Fraser, Antonia. “A Most Superior Street”. Champagne for the brain.
After its success on...
Literary responses Anita Brookner
Ruth Rendell thought this AB 's best novel to date, and Susan Hill thought it her best since Hotel du Lac. Rendell called it almost unbearably moving; Hill said it marks an advance...
Literary responses Iris Murdoch
Among a chorus of discriminating praise, Susan Hill (after identifying herself as a Murdoch enthusiast who ranked her, with William Golding and Lawrence Durrell , as one of the three best and most important living...
Literary responses Anita Desai
AD won the Sahitya Akademi award, the Royal Society of Literature 's Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, and the National Academy of Letters award for this novel.
Choudhury, Bidulata. Women and Society in the Novels of Anita Desai. Nice Printing Press.
British Council Film and Literature Department, in association with Book Trust. Contemporary Writers in the UK.
Susan Hill reviewed the novel as beautifully accomplished...


1952: Angus Wilson published Hemlock and After,...

Writing climate item


Angus Wilson published Hemlock and After, which Margaret Drabble in 2008 called one of the first gay novels to hit the postwar world.
“Back—due to popular demand”. The Guardian, pp. Review 4 - 6.

By April 1978: Marilyn French's important feminist novel...

Writing climate item

By April 1978

Marilyn French 's important feministnovelThe Women's Room (a bestseller in the USA in 1977) appeared in an English edition.


Hill, Susan, and Flora Macdonald Mayor. The Third Miss Symons, Virago, 1980, p. n.p.
Hill, Susan. A Bit of Singing and Dancing. Hamish Hamilton, 1973.
Hill, Susan. A Change for the Better. Hamish Hamilton, 1969.
Hill, Susan. Air and Angels. Sinclair-Stevenson, 1991.
Hill, Susan. Black Sheep. Vintage, 2013.
Hill, Susan, editor. Books and Company. Long Barn Books.
Hill, Susan, and Angela Barrett. Can it Be True?. Hamish Hamilton, 1988.
Hill, Susan. Do Me a Favour. Hutchinson, 1963.
Hill, Susan. Dolly. Profile Books, 2012.
Hill, Susan. Family. Michael Joseph, 1989.
Hill, Susan. Family. Penguin, 1990.
Hill, Susan. From the Heart. Chatto, 2017.
Hill, Susan. Gentleman and Ladies. Hamish Hamilton, 1986.
Hill, Susan. Howards End is on the Landing. Profile Books, 2010.
Hill, Susan. I’m the King of the Castle. Hamish Hamilton, 1970.
Hill, Susan. In the Springtime of the Year. Hamish Hamilton, 1974.
Hill, Susan. Jacob’s Room is Full of Books. Profile Books, 2017.
Hill, Susan. Listening to the Orchestra. Long Barn Books, 1996.
Hill, Susan. Mrs. de Winter. Sinclair-Stevenson, 1993.
Hill, Susan, editor. People: Essays & Poems. Chatto and Windus, 1983.
Hill, Susan. “Proof of the pudding”. The Guardian, p. Review 2.
Hill, Susan. Strange Meeting. Hamish Hamilton, 1971.
Hill, Susan. “Susan Hill”. Susan Hill.
Reynolds, Margaret et al. Susan Hill: The Essential Guide to Contemporary Literature. Vintage, 2003.
Hill, Susan. The Albatross and Other Stories. Hamish Hamilton, 1971.