Piers Paul Read

Born Mar 7, 1941

Piers Paul Read, FRSL is an award-winning English novelist, historian and biographer. He was first noted for a book of reportage Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, later adapted as a feature-film and a documentary. This was followed by some well-acclaimed novels that criticised English middle-class ethics from the less-usual viewpoint of a right-wing practising Catholic, with sin and redemption as recurring themes.… Read More

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News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Piers Paul Read.

  • The Shortlist: Homages
    NYTimes - Apr 29, 2016
  • North Country Events
    NPR - Nov 28, 2013
  • Advocates Urge New York Governor To Veto Hudson River Park Bill
    The Huffington Post - Nov 07, 2013
  • Avoid The 101 Freeway Sunday
    Huffington Post - Mar 09, 2013


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Piers Paul Read.


1941 Birth Born on March 7, 1941.


1959 18 Years Old In 1959 he went to St John's College, Cambridge, where he read history.


1961 20 Years Old He received his B.A. in 1961 and M.A. in 1962.
1963 22 Years Old In 1963–64, he spent a year in West Berlin on a Ford Foundation Fellowship. … Read More
1964 23 Years Old …  A short play The Class War was staged by the Questors Theatre Company in 1964, and his Margaret Clitherow was broadcast by Granada Television in 1977. … Read More


1972 31 Years Old Read is best known for his non-fiction book Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors which documented the story of the 1972 crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in the Andes mountains.
1974 33 Years Old Alive won the Thomas More Medal for the most distinguished contribution to Catholic literature in 1974 and has sold more than five million copies worldwide. … Read More
1978 37 Years Old In 1978 he wrote the book The Train Robbers about the Great Train Robbery in England in 1963.


1988 47 Years Old In 1988 he was awarded a James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his book, A Season in the West.


1993 52 Years Old …  Read’s novels A Married Man (1984) and The Free Frenchman (1988) were adapted for television; Alive was made into a feature film by the director Frank Marshal in 1993; and Monk Dawson by Tom Waller in 1998.


2003 62 Years Old In 2003 his authorised biography of the actor Alec Guinness was published.
2009 68 Years Old In 2009 he wrote The Death of a Pope (ISBN 9781586172954) set with the 2005 Papal conclave as a backdrop.
2015 74 Years Old In 2015 he wrote Scarpia (ISBN 9781408867501), a fictional retelling of the story in the Puccini opera Tosca. … Read More
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