'As profound as it is immensely readable.' Mariella Frostrup, BBC Radio 4 Open Book 'A compulsively readable novel.' Observer 'Vickers writes like a haunted angel.' The Times 'Full of charm.' Independent on Sunday 'Salley Vickers is a writer whose subtle intelligence and unobtrusive command of narrative I always enjoy. She sees with a clear eye and writes with a light hand, and she knows how the world works; and these qualities are much rarer than they should be. She's a presence worth cherishing in the ranks of modern novelists.' Philip Pullman 'Few novelists would dare tackle the theme of Salley Vickers's third novel; fewer still would pull it off so triumphantly. I am speechless with admiration.' John Julius Norwich
Salley Vickers divides her time between London and Venice. Previously a university lecturer in English, when not writing she practices as a psychologist and still lectures widely on the connections between literature, psychology and religion.
All her books touch on themes of psychology, religion, art, creativity and death. She has been described as 'a novelist in the great English tradition of moral seriousness’ and has been compared to Marilynne Robinson, Penelope Fitzgerald, Barbara Pym and Anita Brookner. Aphrodite's Hat, her collected stories, was published in 2010. The Cleaner of Chartres was listed in the Observer's Book of the Year 2012. Salley Vickers lives in London and Cambridge.
A painful case of broken ribs played a part in the genesis of Salley Vickers’ seventh novel The Cleaner of Chartres (Viking, November). Driving through France on holiday, she and a friend stopped off to revisit the famous medieval cathedral of Chartres. They arrived to find the cathedral closing, and decided to stay the night at a hotel—only for her friend to slip in the bathroom and break three ribs.