About Sally Emerson
Sally Emerson edited the literary magazine Books and Bookmen in the late seventies, soon after leaving Oxford university (where she won awards including the Vogue Talent Contest, a Catherine Packenham and the Radio Times Young Journalist of the Year and edited Isis). She was with Books and Bookmen around ten years, as she began to write successful novels as well as journalism. It published all kinds of young hopefuls, including Sebastian Faulks, Ian Hislop, who liked its luxury of space, but it also included more eccentric choices, from Prince Charles to Diana Mosley. Ecclectic, eccentric, it thrived in a rat-infested basement in Victoria Street, SW1, now the smart apartments of Artillery Mansions.
As her novels became more successful, she moved to full time writing, including the novels Second Sight, Fire Child, Separation, Heat and Broken Bodies. Fire Child and Heat were best sellers in the UK, Separation under the title Hush Little Baby in the US. 'Second Sight' won a Yorkshire Post best first novel award. Heat is set in Washington DC where she lived for three years, and the film is at present in development. The Sunday Times referred to it as 'A story of obsession and love and the difference between the two'; Emerson writes superbly about the dark side of love. All the novels have a central theme of obsession, a dark wit, and a strong sense of place. They are also about secret lives, about people who seem to be one thing and in fact are another.
Sally has also sold screenplays and compiled anthologies including the
jubilant and lively The Nursery Treasury, still an international
bestseller with over 200,000 copies sold, and its many versions, drawing on the memories of her mother
singing to her and playing with her in childhood. It aimed to pass on
age old baby games and rhymes which might otherwise have been lost, and
make them accessible for parents and young children.
In recent years Sally has also been travelling, and writing about her travels for the Sunday Times, from the Galapagos to the dead volcanic craters of Tanzania. She lives in Primrose Hill and in a house by the Thames in Mapledurham, Berkshire. She has two children, one of whom, Anna, is a novelist like her mother.