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Welcome to the OFFICIAL 'About The Author' page of:

Leslie Tate

Leslie Tate completed ‘Heaven’s Rage’ in 2016. Leslie is a trans person, similar to Eddie Izzard or Grayson Perry, who writes about modern love.

‘Purple’ the first part of Leslie’s trilogy, is a coming-of-age tale, set in 1969. It follows the story of Matthew Lavender who enters a ‘free love’ situation at college knowing absolutely nothing about sex or relationships. Through trial and error, Matthew discards his ‘cooler than thou’ mask and begins to relate as an adult.

The second novel, ‘Blue’, tells the story of Richard and Vanessa Lavender, who join a 90s feminist collective sharing childcare, political activism and open relationships…

In ‘Violet’, the third novel, The passionate, late-life love of Beth and James begins in 2003 on a blind date in a London restaurant. From then on they bond, exchanging love-texts, exploring sea walks and gardens and sharing their past lives with flashbacks to Beth’s rural childhood and her marriage to a dark, charismatic minister…

Leslie’s transgender memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’ explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life. ‘Heaven’s Rage’ has been turned into a film.

AUTHOR: Leslie Tate

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Heaven's Rage

Heaven's Rage
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Leslie Tate studied Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia and has been shortlisted for the Bridport, Geoff Stevens and Wivenhoe Prizes. He’s the author of the trilogy of novels, ‘Purple’, ‘Blue’ and ‘Violet’, as well as his trans memoir ‘Heaven’s Rage’, which has been turned into a film.

On his website Leslie posts up weekly creative interviews and guest blogs showing how people use their imagination in life, in many different ways. He also runs a comedy club, a poetry group and a mixed arts show in Berkhamsted, UK, where he lives with his wife, children’s and adult author Sue Hampton.


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HEAVEN’S RAGE is an imaginative autobiography. Reporting on feelings people don’t usually own up to, Leslie Tate explores addiction, cross-dressing and the hidden sides of families. Writing lyrically, he brings together stories of bullying, childhood dreams, thwarted creativity and late-life illness, discovering at their core the transformative power of words to rewire the brain and reconnect with life.


Jonathan Ruppin, Judge for the Costa Novel Award, the Guardian First Book Award, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize.

‘Leslie Tate’s memoir is by turns an elegy for a lost childhood, a tribute to the power of literature and a demand for the right to identity in a world that turns too easily on those who differ from the conventional. There is a raw candour to his struggles with alcohol and coming out as transgender, but there is no self-pity here, more a gesture of companionship amid life’s twisting fortunes. Just as it is the characters who bring a story to life, so he reminds us that our lives are enriched by the characterful and the curious. Light-footed poems stud the prose like gemstones, and these shifts of gear reflect the truth that we host not an internal monologue but a dialogue of multi-faceted voices. Leslie Tate’s joyful embrace of the gamut of linguistic possibilities is the culmination of a quest for the right to write his own story, both figuratively and now on the page.’


Heaven’s Rage is autobiographical yet touches the universal. It has ambitious scope. There are sections on music and gardens, but the author really strikes his form on vulnerability, cross-dressing, illness, alcoholism, relationship. This could be depressing, yet it is uplifting. We enter the author’s life and live it through with him, feeling the hurts and the awkward compensations of vulnerability, the separateness of difference. We almost touch the quality of the cross-dressing feeling. As we do this, quietly, quietly, an alchemy is turning the iron of our heart to gold. In a microcosm of his own life experience, we end up as he does with a quiet, complex understanding of many of the issues. Walking through them our attitude softens, becomes more nuanced. I want to use the word love, yet this is never spelt out. I sense that the author could only have written this book now, after a long assimilation and integration of the many subtle aspects. I look forward very much to reading a novel from someone who has done this level of inner work. There are good and wide ranging quotes, and some lovely poetry. I particularly like ‘Coming home’, accompanying an ill friend struggling to get upstairs to her home. Relevant reviews and commentaries herald each exploration. Personally I prefer to experience first and stabilise my own thinking before reading reviews. The use of non-sequential chapters works well and allows one to move about the book non-sequentially also, according to one’s own inclinations and affinities.



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