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About the Author: Salley Vickers

Salley Vickers was born in Liverpool, the home of her mother, and grew up as the child of parents in the British Communist Party. She won a state scholarship to St Paul’s Girl’s School and went on to read English at Newnham College Cambridge.

She has worked, variously, as a cleaner, a dancer, an artist’s model, a teacher of children with special needs, a university teacher of literature, and a psychoanalyst. Her first novel, ‘Miss Garnet’s Angel’, became an international word-of-mouth bestseller. She now writes full time and lectures widely on many subjects, particularly the connections between, art, literature, psychology and religion.

Her principal interests are opera, bird watching, dancing, and poetry. One of her father's favourite poets, W.B.Yeats, was responsible for her name Salley, (the Irish for 'willow') which comes from Yeats’s poem set to music by Benjamin Britten 'Down by the salley gardens'.


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Goodreads rating: 3.31

Paperback, by Fourth Estate

ISBN10: 000714315X | ISBN13: 9780007143153

Page count: 264

Violet Hetherington has taken the rash step of joining a transatlantic cruise to New York to visit Edwin, an old friend. As she makes the six-day crossing, she relives the traumatic events that led to her losing Edwin’s friendship and abandoning her career as a poet for the safety of marriage and domesticity. 
 

Despite her natural reserve, she meets a rich variety of passengers traveling with her, who affect her understanding of her own past. Most significant, she meets Dino, the dancing host, whose motives in befriending Vi are shady but who teaches her to ballroom dance and inadvertently helps her to recover from her past.

 

Moving between the late sixties and the present day, Dancing Backwards is written with the lightness of touch and psychological insight that characterize Salley Vickers’s acclaimed work. This bittersweet novel is subtle, poignant, and wonderfully entertaining.

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