Miriam was born in Jerusalem and educated at Dartington Hall School and Oxford University where she read English Literature. She was deputy literary editor of The Observer from 1969 to 1981, and then Woman's Editor of The Observer from 1981 to 1984. She followed this with roles as Editor of Book Choice on Channel 4 in 1985, Arts Editor at Daily Telegraph from 1986-1991, and then Literary Editor of Daily Telegraph from 1991-2005. She was Senior Editor of Standpoint magazine from 2008 to 2011.
Miriam has edited two collections of essays: The World of George Orwell and The World of Raymond Chandler, and wrote So Why Can't They Read and An Almost English Life.
She was previously a Booker Prize Judge in 1998.