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Girl with dove: a life built by books

Sally Bayley


Sally Bayley's early life was so blighted by neglect that she put herself into care aged 14 and didn’t see her family for the next 12 years. In 1990, She was the first child to go to university from West Sussex County Council Care services. She studied at St Andrews university, and then went to America, where she taught aesthetic education in midwestern schools and universities and foundation arts courses to adults in inner city Ohio.
Bayley is currently a Lecturer in English at Hertford College, Oxford. She also teaches on the Sarah Lawrence visiting programme at Wadham College, Oxford. From 2018-2020 she was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Oxford Brookes University. 'Girl with Dove' is part memoir, part fiction. Growing up in a dilapidated house by the sea where men were forbidden, Sally’s childhood world was filled with mystery and intrigue. Hippies trailed through the kitchen looking for God – their leader was Aunt Di, who ruled the house with charismatic force. When Sally’s baby brother vanishes from his pram, she becomes suspicious of the activities going on around her. What happened to Baby David and the woman called Poor Sue? And where did all the people singing and wailing prayers in the front room suddenly go? 45-year-old Sally has a glittering academic career and is a highly respected lecturer in English Literature at Oxford University.

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