Charlotte Mendelson (born 1972) is a British novelist and editor. Her maternal grandparents were, in her words, “Hungarian-speaking-Czech, Ruthenian for about 10 minutes, Carpathian mountain-y, impossible to describe”, who left Prague in 1939. When she was two, she moved with her parents and her baby sister to a house in a cobbled passage next to St John’s College, Oxford, where her father taught public international law.
After the King’s School, Canterbury, she studied Ancient and Modern History at the University of Oxford, even though she knows now, with great regret, that what would have suited her best was English literature at somewhere like Leeds.
She says she became a lesbian suddenly. “It was boyfriends up to 22 or 23. Not a whiff of lesbianism. Not even a thought. But I’m very all or nothing. It was all that, and now it’s all this. There was about a 10-minute cross-over period of uncertainty, but it was not that bad.”
She has two children with the journalist and novelist Joanna Briscoe.
Books in order of publication:
Love in Idleness – 2001
Daughters of Jerusalem – 2004
When We Were Bad – 2007
Almost English – 2013
Rhapsody in Green: A Novelist, an Obsession, a Laughably Small Excuse for a Garden
The Exhibitionist – 2022