St Christopher

Salley Vickers
Event 2
Saturday October 4th, 3.30pm 
Little Missenden Village Hall

An outstanding novelist talks

This is an archived event from the 2014 Programme.

Salley Vickers is the author of eight acclaimed novels and a volume of short stories. Philip Pullman called her “a presence to be cherished”.

Her first novel, Miss Garnet’s Angel, was a runaway word-of-mouth success, a tender, uncompromising portrayal of grief and identity. Robert McCrum chose her latest novel, The Cleaner of Chartres, as his book of the year:

“Salley Vickers is a novelist whose imaginative journey always promises magic and mystery. The Cleaner of Chartres shows her on top form in a rich weave of loss and redemption spiked with Ms Vickers’ irrepressible wit.”

Salley is an inspiring speaker, and we can expect a thought-provoking and stimulating talk. She says of herself, “I’m quite spiky. I want to convey the dark as well as the light”.

“Vickers is a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness. Her characters suffer, they struggle to be true to both themselves and the promptings of the human heart” (Washington Post)

Antonia Honeywell will interview Salley, exploring:

  • her writing process;
  • the way her career has taken shape;
  • the influence her background in teaching and psychoanalysis has had on her novels; and
  • her interest in myth and faith.

Salley will read from her work and encourage discussion.

Weidenfeld and Nicolson are publishing Antonia’s own debut novel, The Ship, next February.

Salley Vickers, the daughter of left wing parents (a trade union leader and a social worker), worked as a cleaner, a dancer, an artist’s model, a teacher of children with special needs, a university teacher of literature and a psychoanalyst – and didn’t write her first novel till the age of 50.

     Joan Bakewell interview with Salley Vickers