Tana French Biography

(American-Irish Writer Best Known for Her Novels: ‘In the Woods’, ‘The Likeness’ and ‘Faithful Place’)

Birthday: May 1, 1973 (Taurus)

Born In: Burlington, Vermont, United States

Tana French is an American writer of Irish descent who has written many books in the crime fiction genre. French has delivered seven books between 2007 and 2018. A majority of her books have been critically acclaimed, especially her debut novel ‘In the Woods’ which won several awards. Tana French has been praised consistently by the leading daily newspapers and magazines after she surfaced for the first time as a crime thriller novelist in 2007. Apart from ‘The Independent,’ the major news daily ‘The Washington Post’ has also praised her books over the years. Her fifth novel, ‘The Secret Place’, was rated as one of the five best crime thriller books to be published in 2014 by ‘The Washington Post’. Even though she eventually found fame as a writer, Tana French’s first love was acting and she wanted to pursue a career in the show business as a young girl. However, life had other plans for her and she eventually moved to writing fiction.

Quick Facts

Also Known As: Tana Elizabeth French

Age: 51 Years, 51 Year Old Females


Spouse/Ex-: Anthony Breatnach

father: David French

mother: Elena Hvostoff-Lombardi

Born Country: United States

Novelists American Women

U.S. State: Vermont

More Facts

education: Trinity College Dublin

awards: 2008 · In the Woods - Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author
2008 · In the Woods - Barry Award for Best First Novel
2008 · In the Woods - Anthony Award for Best First Novel
2008 · In the Woods - Macavity Awards for Best First Mystery Novel

Tana French wanted to be an actress while growing up; however, writing also excited her a lot. She attended Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied acting and later pursued a career in theatre and as a voice artist.
In her youth, Tana French used to read a lot, mostly mystery and thriller books, which eventually rekindled her passion for writing. After spending a substantial period of time performing on stage and as a voice artist, French decided to take a break from acting and write her own books. On January 30, 2007, French published her first novel ‘In the Woods’ under the publisher ‘Viking Penguin’. The crime novel, the first in the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series, was based on an investigation of the murder of a twelve-year-old girl. The novel won four prestigious awards, an Edgar Allan Poe Award, a Macavity Award, the Barry Award, and the Anthony Award in 2008. It was hailed as the best debut mystery novel for a long time and French was credited for her brilliant storytelling. The book sold over a million-copy and received rave reviews.
Her second book in the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series, ‘The Likeness’, was released on July 17, 2008. This book was another hit and was nominated for the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award a year after it was published. The third book ‘Faithful Place’ was also a continuation of the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series. The story of this novel revolves around undercover detective Frank Mackey’s pursuit of the missing girl Rosie Daly. The book was released on July 13, 2010, and was nominated at The Edgar Allan Poe Awards in 2011 and the 2012 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Awards. The book was also shortlisted for the 2010 Irish Book Awards, Best Mystery Novel.
Tana French continued her brilliant work and the ‘Dublin Murder Squad’ series continued with the fourth book ‘Broken Harbour’. In the book, decorated detective Scorcher Kennedy investigates a triple murder homicide involving a father and his two kids. The book won multiple awards, including the 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award for Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award in the same year.
Her fifth book of the series, ‘The Secret Place’, was released in 2014 and received good reviews except for a few critics raising the point of the teen characters in the book using too many slang words. The book, however, was listed as one of the top five thriller books of 2014. French’s last two books, ‘The Trespasser’ and ‘The Wych Elm/The Witch Elm’, were also received very well by the experts as well as the readers.
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Family & Personal Life
Tana French was born on May 10, 1973, in Burlington, Vermont, to Elena Hvostoff-Lombardi and David French, an economist by profession. She attended the Trinity College, Dublin, to study acting.
She married Anthony Breatnach and has two daughters with him. She has retained dual citizenship of Italy and US.

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