Salley Vickers was born in Liverpool and grew up as the child of parents in the British Communist Party. Her father was a trade union leader and her mother a social worker. She won a state scholarship to St Paul’s Girl’s School which caused her father some anxiety because of his dislike of public schools and for a while he felt that she should not attend the schooL. She went on to read English at Newnham College Cambridge, with which she recently renewed working ties.
She has worked, variously, as a cleaner, a dancer, an artist’s model, a teacher of children with special needs, a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst. Her first novel, Miss Garnet’s Angel, became an international word-of-mouth bestseller and a favourite among book clubs and reading groups.
She now writes full time and lectures widely on many subjects, particularly the connections between art, literature, psychology and religion.