Mavis Cheek was born and grew up in Wimbledon. She began her working life with the contemporary art publishers, Editions Alecto. London was lively and creative in the ‘sixties and when Editions Alecto opened a gallery in the West End of London, Mavis worked there with artists such as David Hockney, Allen Jones, Patrick Caulfield, Gillian Ayres, Bridget Riley – from which she learned about modern and contemporary art. After twelve happy years at Editions Alecto, Mavis left to study at Hillcroft College for Women from where she graduated in Arts with distinction. When her daughter Bella was born shortly after graduating she began her writing career in earnest. Journalism and travel writing at first, then short stories, and eventually, in 1988, her novel Pause Between Acts was published by The Bodley Head and won the She/John Menzies First Novel Prize. She has published fifteen novels and her short stories are in various collections.
Mavis has served on both PEN and The Society of Authors committees and was for three years the judge of the McKitterick Prize for Fiction. She is a Fellow of MacDowell Colony, USA and has been the Royal Literature Fund Fellow at both Chichester University and the University of Reading. She is also the Founder and Patron of the Marlborough Literature Festival which aims to put authorship, rather than celebrity, back at the heart of literature festivals. It has proved a resounding success and proves that good writing will always be admired and cherished.
Since 1989 Mavis has run residential courses for the Arvon Foundation; for the Centre for Literature at Ty Newydd in Wales; at Dartington; at Stratford on Avon, Beverley, Charleston Festivals, among others, and at Marlborough College and various other venues and institutions at home and abroad from palaces to prisons. She lives and works in London.
‘Mavis Cheek seems to have cracked the conundrum of how to write decent novels with popular appeal.’ — The Times
‘Mavis Cheek may well be the spokes-woman for a generation.’ — Observer
‘There has always been a touch of the Alan Bennett about Mavis Cheek. Both writers share an uncanny talent for capturing the cadences of the way we speak, and for re-creating them on the page so delicately and with such charm that it takes your breath away.’ — Daily Mail
Three Men on a Plane (2016)
Dog Days (2016)
Sleeping Beauties (2017)
Parlour Games (2017)