Stella Duffy was born in London, grew up in New Zealand, and now lives in London. She is the author of seven literary novels, including The Room of Lost Things and State of Happiness, both of which were Longlisted for the Orange Prize. The Room of Lost Things won the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2008, and she won the Stonewall Writer of the Year 2010 for Theodora. She is also the author of the Saz Martin detective series. She has written over 45 short stories, including several for BBC Radio 4, and won the 2002 CWA Short Story Dagger for Martha Grace. Her ten plays include an adaptation of Medea for Steam Industry, and Prime Resident and Immaculate Conceit for the National Youth Theatre (UK). In addition to her writing work she is an actor and theatre director.
Even better than the first book, Duffy s portrayal of a former actress s extraordinary rise to power is riveting. "Library Journal" Rich in dialogue, filled with fascinating details of sixth-century life in Asia Minor, Duffy s novel offers an intimate portrayal of the calculating empress, who was an early feminist and a brilliant ruler "Booklist" Praise for "Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore" ""Theodora "is a best-of-all-worlds book entertaining, gripping, thoughtful and dangerously enlightening. Stella Duffy, a versatile and gifted novelist, is uniquely suited to bringing Theodora to life. She clearly has great affection for her subject, but does not allow that to undercut her keen eye and pitch-perfect ear. An achievement that many writers will envy and few will equal." Laura Lippman "In "Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore," Stella Duffy's brilliantly organized imagination has re-imagined one of the most resourceful, smart, and emotionally complex woman in history, creating a woman remarkably relevant to the 21st century: a rags-to-riches story of survival and achievement a feminist reality tale we can all relate to. Read this book. It is a gift from Stella Duffy we should not refuse." LAMBDA" Literary Review""Lively and dramatic. Duffy explores themes of sexuality, theater, religious conversion, female oppression, and the struggle for power and recognition in a sixth-century historical setting with a surprisingly contemporary attitude." "Library Journal""Duffy's seductive retelling of the story of the legendary empress Theodora will delight historical fiction fans. . . . a portrait of a woman who rose from misfortune and poverty to build an empire alongside a devoted husband." " Publishers Weekly""Duffy's passion for her heroine, the charismatic Theodora, is evident on every page. The result is a novel that remains true to its historical sources, whilst managing to reinvent its subject matter with great freshness and verve. A vivid and affectionate portrait of one of the most fascinating personalities of the ancient world." Sarah Waters, author of "The Little Stranger""""