Rachel Trezise was born in Cwmparc in the Rhondda valley, south Wales in 1978. She studied Journalism and English at Glamorgan University and Geography and History at Limerick University, simultaneously writing her first novel. She graduated in 2000 and her semi-autobiographical novel In and Out of the Goldfish Bowl was published the same year.
Described as ‘A child’s Christmas in Wales where the only present you can hope for is that your Mam really does kill your dad with the bread-knife this time,’ it attracted much critical acclaim and won a place on the Orange Futures List in 2001. The book is studied in most Welsh Universities and is on the British Literature reading list at the University of Montreal.
Later in the same year Trezise was chosen by the Guardian Hay Festival to be one of the first writers to participate in Scritture Giovanni, an annual project conceived in conjunction with The Literary festival of Mantova in Italy and the International Literature Festival of Berlin, devised to promote young European writers. In 2003, Harpers & Queen magazine voted her their ‘new face of literature.’
Her second book, a short story collection called Fresh Apples was published in 2005 and won the inaugural Dylan Thomas Prize in 2006. Andrew Davies, screenwriter and judge of the prize described the book as ‘… easily compared to James Joyce’s Dubliners.’ Shortly after accepting the prize, Trezise took up writer’s residence at the University of Texas and married her long time fiancé while in the States.
Dial M for Merthyr, her third book, was published in 2007 and has been described as part reportage, part social history and part memoir. It follows a young Welsh band as they tour the British toilet circuit. Her first venture into theatre, I Sing of a Maiden, a conversation between the ancient and contemporary, exploring teenage pregnancy and interspersed with folk song performed by Charlotte Greig, played to sell-out audiences in Wales in 2007 and is still on tour. Her first radio play Lemon Meringue Pie was broadcast on BBC Radio 4’s Afternoon Play slot in September 2008.
Her work has been translated into several languages and has been published in Australia and New Zealand, Denmark and Italy.