Julia Darling was born in Winchester in 1956 in the house Jane Austen died in. She moved to Newcastle in 1980 and began her writing career as a poet, working with a performance group 'The Poetry Virgins' for many years, 'taking poetry to the places that least expected it'.
In 1995 she published a book of short stories, Bloodlines with Panurge Press, and many of these stories were broadcast on BBC Radio 4. In 1998 her first novel Crocodile Soup was published by Anchor at Transworld. The novel went on to be published in Canada, Australia, Europe and the United States and was long-listed for the Orange Prize. Her second Novel, The Taxi Driver's Daughter, was published by Penguin and long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and short-listed for the Encore Award. She wrote many plays for stage and radio. In 2003, Julia Darling's first full-length collection of poems, Sudden Collapses in Public Places, was published by Arc and was awarded a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She worked on a number of arts and health projects, including work with elderly people in residential homes for Equal Arts, and she ran drama workshops for doctors and patients with the project 'Operating Theatre'. She was a fellow of Literature and Health in the English School at Newcastle University and was a recipient of the prestigious Northern Rock Foundation Writer's Award, the largest annual literary award in England.
Julia Darling died of breast cancer in 2005 aged 48.