Pat Barker was born in Thornaby-on-Tees in Yorkshire, England, on 8 May 1943.
She was educated at the London School of Economics, where she read International History, and at Durham University. She taught History and Politics until 1982.
In 1983 she was named as one of the 20 ‘Best Young British Novelists’ in a promotion run by the Book Marketing Council and Granta magazine. Her trilogy of novels about the First World War, which began with Regeneration in 1991, was partly inspired by her grandfather’s experiences fighting in the trenches in France. Regeneration was made into a film in 1997 starring Jonathan Pryce and James Wilby. The Eye in the Door, the second novel in the trilogy, won the Guardian Fiction Prize, and The Ghost Road, the final novel in the series, won the Booker Prize for Fiction. Another World, although set in contemporary Newcastle, is overshadowed by the memories of an old man who fought in the First World War.
Pat Barker was awarded a CBE in 2000. Her latest novels are Life Class, Toby’s Room, returning to the First World War, Noonday and The Silence of the Girls, which was shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction.