Susanna Clarke was born in Nottingham in 1959, the eldest daughter of a Methodist minister. She was educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford, and has worked in various areas of publishing. In 1990 she left London to teach English in Turin and Bilbao for two years, returning to England to work at Simon and Schuster as a cookery editor.
In 1992, she began working on Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell which was finally published in 2004 by Bloomsbury to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is currently being filmed as a major BBC drama that will be aired in January 2015. She followed with a collection of short stories, The Ladies of Grace Adieu (2006). Her short story Mr Simonelli, or The Fairy Widower was short-listed for a World Fantasy Award in 2001. Susanna lives in Cambridge with her partner, the novelist and reviewer Colin Greenland.