Appearing: Speakers Corner, Saturday 2018
Dinah Jefferies is the bestselling author of five novels – the latest of which, The Sapphire Widow will be published in April 2018. Born in Malaysia, Dinah moved to England at the age of 9. As a teenager she longed to be back in her native East, and this restlessness led to a varied and unusual life: working as an au pair for an Italian countess in Tuscany, living with a rock band in a ‘hippie’ commune in Suffolk, and a spell living in a village in Andalucía.
Now settled in Cheltenham, Dinah began writing novels in her early sixties, drawing on the seductive beauty of the exotic settings she had known as a child, and also on her experience of loss after the tragic death of her 14-year-old son. Her five novels are set variously in Malaysia, Vietnam, India and Sri Lanka, with an authentic sense of place which derives from the travels she has made to those countries.
In conversation with Caroline Sanderson, Dinah reflects on her inspiring journey from colonial childhood to chart-topping novelist, and reveals some of the craft secrets behind her gloriously evocative writing.