Andrea Stuart was born and raised in the Caribbean and US. She studied English at the University of East Anglia and French at the Sorbonne. Her first book, Showgirls (Jonathan Cape, 1996), a collective biography of showgirls from Colette, to Marlene Dietrich to Madonna, was adapted into a two-part documentary for the Discovery Channel in 1998 and has since inspired a theatrical show, a contemporary dance piece and a number of burlesque performances. Her second book, The Rose of Martinique: A Biography of Napoleon's Josephine (Macmillan, 2003) was translated into several languages and won the Enid McLeod Literary Prize in 2004. She is writer in Residence at Kingston University and teaches at the Faber Academy.