Mavis Cheek began her working life at sixteen in the contemporary art world working with such artists as David Hockney, Bridget Riley and Patrick Caulfield. Much of this understanding of art colours her writing. She took her degree at the grand age of twenty eight after which she had her daughter, with the artist Basil Beattie. She then decided to write and her first novel, Pause Between Acts won the SHE/John Menzies First Novel prize. She has been called “Jane Austen in Modern Dress” and “The novelist who takes her scalpel to the discreet lack of charms of the bourgeosie” She has written for radio, short story collections and has published fifteen novels in all – with Faber & Faber, Hamish Hamilton and Hutchinson. The Observer said of her, ‘Cheek is a comic writer who is honourably fulfilling her contract to amuse…But she is also a proper writer and rage, passion and the authentic yowl of pain lies beneath her jolly prose.’
Mavis teaches for the Arvon Foundation, at Stratford Literature Festival (Guardian Masterclass) and at Ty Newydd, the Welsh Literature Centre. She is an Associate Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. She enjoys speaking at Literature Festivals and all other places where people are interested in writers and what makes them tick.
She has written fifteen novels in all, to reviewers’ acclaim and is currently working on her sixteenth novel. Currently she lives in the beautiful Wiltshire countryside but is planning to move back to London – eventually.