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life events

  • Michele Roberts was born in 1949 to a French mother and an English father and brought up in Edgware, a suburb in North London.
  • Her mother was Roman Catholic and Roberts was educated at a convent school. The Catholic church had a deep influence on her work - but was also something against which she reacted powerfully.
  • As a young girl, Roberts wanted to be a nun and live in a convent as a way of escaping the pressures around her.
  • She went to Oxford University and there she finally allowed herself to escape the constraints of religion - she became a feminist, rejected her faith and decided to write.
"The way that women were treated in the religion I grew up in, which was Catholicism, made me a writer -because women were seen as the source of evil in the world, the source of sin. We led men astray, we had to be forgiven for being women before we even began to try and be good, we had to get over having the bodies we had. This really pushed me to wanting to write as a way of opposing what was very constricting and actually painful in my life"
Michele Roberts

Her early novels are strongly autobiographical, drawing on her childhood in England and France. A Piece of the Night was published in 1978 and The Visitation in 1983. Some of her later work is based more on fantasy - such as The Wild Girl published in 1984.

life events
key influences and themes
Roberts' work
the next chapter
being a woman writer
  Women Writers
  Ama Ata Aidoo
  Meena Alexander
  Maya Angelou
  Shashi Deshpande
  Margaret Drabble
  Buchi Emecheta
  Jamaica Kincaid
  Doris Lessing
  Bharati Mukherjee
  Helen Simpson

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