novelist, born in Poole, Dorset. Her first novel, Dying, in Other Words (1981), was followed by The Burning Book (1983), a family saga covering three generations, set against the backdrop of nuclear destruction in Japan. Light Years (1985) is a love story charting an estranged married couple's year‐long search for reconciliation. Grace (1988) also presents the redeeming power of love in a ruthless and violent world, and sees the future in the form of a fearless child in the womb, burrowing its way to the light. Where Are the Snows? (1991) reconsiders the twists and turns of a love affair and finally, their shared journey ‘over the snows towards the light’. Recent novels include The White Family (2002) and The Flood (2004), which explore issues of racism and global warming in contemporary London, and My Cleaner (2005). Her first volume of short stories, The Blue, was published in 2006.