Patricia Ferguson was brought up in Kent, read history at Leeds university, and completed a two-year graduate nursing course at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel. This was at rather the end of an era; she was perhaps amongst the very last young women shown how to coax starched linen hats into the requisite five pleats, or told that pillow cases must always face away from the ward entrance; but she was also taught many vital and graceful nursing techniques. Pat loved the obstetrics part of the course, and completed midwifery training too. She had always wanted to write and finished her first novel, Family Myths and Legends, whilst working as an obstetric nurse in Canada. This won the Somerset Maugham Award, the Betty Trask, and the David Higham prize in 1985. Working as an agency nurse in London Pat completed her acclaimed short story collection about nursing, Indefinite Nights. Several more short stories have been broadcast on Radio 4, and Pat has published five further novels, two of them listed for the Orange Prize; The Midwife's Daughter was chosen for Radio Four's Book at Bedtime. She taught Creative Writing at the University of Bristol, for many years and was a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Reading University. She is married with two grown-up sons, and lives in Bristol.Read more Read less
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