[vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"]Elisa Segrave
wanted to be a writer from the age of five. Her first book Nothing But Horses
, (unpublished) was written – and illustrated – when she was nine, under the pseudonym Hilda Morris. At her Sacred Heart Convent she had a very strict English Lit.teacher who called one pupil a two-headed baboon. The girl later got a First in English. Elisa only made it once into the school literary magazine, with a poem about Icarus.
She did not get in to Oxford after staring out of the window when asked at her interview what she thought of Virginia Woolf. She went to Edinburgh but dropped out after one year. At nineteen she worked in Westminster Hospital hospital linen room about which she published a short story, Maternal Love
, featuring an Italian hospital porter and his South London female boss. She worked briefly in a New York office but yearned to go round America on a Greyhound. Her boss Marine Harti advised: ‘Elisa, wear a wedding ring and remember there are a lot of people in this country who are high on drugs’
Elisa was married to the writer Andrew Barrow for nine years and has two children. She published her first book in 1995 after the divorce. The Diary of a Breast
was one of the first memoirs of cancer, and is a black comedy about Elisa’s experience. Soon after she published a novel Ten Men
, also with Faber. Her latest book is The Girl From Station X
, about discovering her mother’s secret life. Elisa has kept a daily diary since she was sixteen. She hopes to publish her diaries but is afraid of libel.
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