novelist, brought up in Camberwell, south London, educated at St Anne's College, Oxford, and University College London. After working at the Clarendon Press, Oxford, she spent a year as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. Her first novel, The Ha‐Ha (1961), is a first‐person account of the experiences in a mental institution of an intelligent, sensitive, and eccentric patient, followed by her amusing and sometimes surreal return to health. The novel anticipates later shifts in attitudes to mental illness. Dawson's later work includes Fowler's Snare (1963), The Cold Country (1965), Strawberry Boy (1976), A Field of Scarlet Poppies (1979), and Hospital Wedding (1978, short stories).
Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards).