Tessaro, Kathleen 1965-
TESSARO, Kathleen 1965-
Born 1965, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Married; husband's name, James (a pianist). Education: Studied drama at Carnegie Mellon University.
Home—London, England. Agent—c/o Author Mail, 7th Floor, HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd St., New York, NY 10022.
Has worked as an movie, television, and theater actress, including several years with the English National Opera. Member of Wimpole Street Writers Workshop.
Elegance (novel), William Morrow (New York, NY), 2003.
After studying drama at Carnegie-Mellon University, Kathleen Tessaro moved to London to try her luck at a stage career. With a decade of modest success on stage and screen and television, Tessaro retired from performing to train as a drama and voice coach while working for the English National Opera. At the same time, she began to write short stories, joining a women's writing workshop to hone her skills.
Her first novel, Elegance, draws on her own experiences as an expatriate American and her encounter with a curious old book, also titled Elegance, a self-help guide written in the 1960s by a grand old lady of France to provide advice on everything from wearing the right scarf to choosing the right friends. In Tessaro's book, a frumpy, fortyish expatriate in a passionless marriage embraces the advice in the self-help guide, gradually discarding her shapeless dresses and Birkenstocks for a more elegant wardrobe. "Ironically, in her imitation of elegance, she somehow manages to find her true self," noted Library Journal reviewer Shelley Mosley. For with the new clothes comes a new self-confidence and a willingness to open herself to new experiences. "Through vivid descriptions, lively mishaps and devastating details, Tessaro serves up a witty, original, fast-moving debut. Louise's story lightheartedly reveals the frailties and possibilities in all of us," concluded a USA Today reviewer.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, June 1, 2003, Kathleen Hughes, review of Elegance, p. 1747.
Kirkus Reviews, May 1, 2003, review of Elegance, p. 640.
Library Journal, June 1, 2003, Shelley Mosley, review of Elegance, p. 170.
Publishers Weekly, July 7, 2003, review of Elegance, p. 53.
Times (London, England), May 26, 2003, Business section, p. 23.
USA Today, July 17, 2003, review of Elegance, Life section, p. 4.*