born in Liverpool, educated at Bangor Grammar School and Liverpool School of Art. The Sin Eater (1977) and The Birds of the Air (1980) were awarded a Welsh Arts Council Award. The 27th Kingdom and The Other Side of the Fire both appeared in 1982. Set in a small Welsh rural community, Unexplained Laughter (1985), is characteristically witty, succinct, elegantly polished, and compelling. The novel epitomizes Ellis's distinctive blend of flamboyant comedy and understanding of suffering. Between 1987 and 1990 she published a trilogy: The Clothes in the Wardrobe, The Skeleton in the Cupboard, and The Fly in the Ointment. The Inn at the Edge of the World (1990), like Unexplained Laughter, is a ghost story steeped in Celtic feeling. Further fiction includes The Evening of Adam (1994; short stories) and Fairy Tale (1996). Ellis's abundant non‐fiction includes A Welsh Childhood (1990) and her stout defence of Catholic orthodoxy, Serpent on the Rock (1994).