Lynne Reid Banks

Lynne Reid Banks

LYNNE REID BANKS was born in London in 1929, the only child of a Scottish doctor and an Irish actress.

Her education before World War II included two years in a Catholic convent. When war came, Lynne was evacuated to the Canadian prairies. On her return to London in 1945 she studied for the stage, and after five years in Repertory, spent several years as a freelance journalist and playwright. She joined ITN as the first British woman TV news reporter in 1955, remaining there until 1962. Her first novel, the ground-breaking, post-war, feminist novel, THE L-SHAPED ROOM, was published in 1960, and made into a film the following year.

In 1962 Lynne emigrated to Israel, where she met Liverpool-born sculptor Chaim Stephenson, whom she later married. Altogether she spent nearly nine years living in a kibbutz in Galilee, where their three sons were born. She describes these years as perhaps the most fulfilling of her life, all her previous careers proving useful to her new one as a teacher.

In 1971 she returned to England with her family. For fourteen years they lived in London and Lynne wrote full-time, producing books and plays, short stories and articles. In 1985 Lynne and her husband moved to the country, keeping a small house in London, so as not to be 'out of the swim'.

Lynne says that writing for children comes much more easily than writing for adults:
'It's not that it is less demanding - I just find it much more fun. My mother had a theory that shut up inside of us are all the ages that we have ever been and that they can be 'tapped' for feelings and information. All the child stages in me have been brought out for exercise since I began writing for children. I especially enjoy writing for young children. I used to test out my work on my own sons, though they didn't always give their approval. In the end one has to write what one wants to write, and hope for the best'



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