Jessica majored in English at Stanford University. While there, she won a prestigious Angel Art Grant and participated in research projects in Andalusia, New Delhi and Oxford. After graduating, she completed her masters in drama at the Institute of Theatre and the Autonomous University of Barcelona before training with the Catalan theatre company La Fura dels Baus.
Since moving to London, Jessica Cornwell has worked as a runner at Working Title Films, a freelance researcher and a program director for the Santozeum, a start-up museum and art hub based between London and Santorini.
Jessica was raised with her seven siblings in Ojai, California. The Serpent Papers is her first novel, which was published in the UK by Quercus in January 2015. She has also been published with HarperCollinsCanada, and the novel will be translated into Catalan, Czech, French, Hebrew, Japanese, Norwegian, Slovak and Spanish.
PRAISE FOR The Serpent Papers
"Cornwell is a striking writer in her own right, weaving a complex, non-linearly told narrative that haunts the mind long after the last page." - Akshita Nanda, The Sunday Times
"The kind of rich, multi-layered story that demands and rewards commitment ... A triumphant debut, by a young writer with an incredible imagination." - The New York Times
Jessica's Articles and interviews
'The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell Review – Murder and Medieval Intrigue,' The Guardian, January 21, 2015
'The Serpent Papers by Jessica Cornwell is a Labyrinthine Quest,' The Sydney Morning Herald, February 27, 2015