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Internationally acclaimed writer returns to UEA as Chancellor

Rose Tremain Rose Tremain; Restoration; Music and Silence; The Road Home; Do Different; Sadler’s Birthday; Music and Silence; The Road Home; Restoration; The Colonel’s Daughter; Restoration; Sacred Country; Sacred Country; Merivel: A Man of His Time; Restoration

Sat, 13 Apr 2013

Rose Tremain CBE has been appointed as the new Chancellor of the University of East Anglia

Rose Tremain

The multi-prizewinning author, whose novels include Restoration, Music and Silence and The Road Home was one of UEA's first students and takes up her new role as the university celebrates its 50th anniversary year.

Maintaining a close association with the university for almost five decades, Rose Tremain studied English as an undergraduate from 1964-67 - the university's second ever intake. She returned to teach on UEA's famous Creative Writing MA from 1989-95, gave numerous readings at its long-running literary festival, and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2000. She will be the first writer, the first woman, and the first UEA graduate to take on the role of Chancellor.

She said: "I'm honoured - and moved - by the invitation to take on the role of Chancellor of UEA, in its historic 50th anniversary year. When I was a student at UEA, back in the mid-sixties, I was taught by Angus Wilson and Malcolm Bradbury, and this helped to change the direction of my life, setting me on the path towards becoming a writer. I therefore owe UEA a big personal debt and I hope I can pay this back by being a vibrant spokeswoman for an exceptional institution which has stayed marvellously faithful to its chosen motto, Do Different - not least by appointing me."

The Chancellor's formal duties include chairing the annual meeting of Court and sharing with the Vice-Chancellor the conferment of degrees at Congregation. Beyond these ceremonial duties, each Chancellor shapes the role in the way they feel best supports the values and aspirations of the university.

Rose Tremain will be installed as UEA's new Chancellor at a special ceremony on campus on June 7. The appointment is for a three-year term and follows the death last year of Sir Brandon Gough, who had served the university with great energy and dedication for nine years.

On behalf of UEA Council, the appointing body, Registrar and Secretary Brian Summers said: "The university is delighted that Rose, one of our earliest and most renowned graduates, has accepted our invitation to become our Chancellor in our 50th anniversary year. The installation of a Chancellor is always cause for great celebration in any university community, but particularly so when the appointment is someone with such deep and long-standing association with the institution."

Born in London in 1943, Rose Tremain was educated in London, Hertfordshire and at the Sorbonne in Paris. After graduating from UEA, she worked in teaching and publishing in London until 1976 when she published her first novel, Sadler's Birthday.

She has since published eleven novels, four collections of short stories, one book for children and plays for radio and television. She has won both the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award (Music and Silence, 1999) and the Orange Prize (The Road Home, 2007).

In 1995 her Booker-shortlisted novel Restoration was made into a major film directed by Michael Hoffman and starring Robert Downey Jr, Sam Neill and Meg Ryan, and further films are in development.

She was made a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 2007.

Selected as one of only five women in the original 20 'Best of Young British Novelists' in 1983, her other prizes include the Dylan Thomas Short Story Prize (The Colonel's Daughter, 1984), the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award (Restoration, 1989), the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country, 1993), and the Prix Femina Etranger, France (Sacred Country, 1995).

Published last year, her latest novel Merivel: A Man of His Time is a sequel to Restoration and was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust book prize.

Rose Tremain has one daughter, Eleanor, and two grandchildren, Archie and Martha Rose, and lives with the biographer Richard Holmes in London and Norwich - which was named England's first UNESCO City of Literature last year.