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Born in east London to working-class parents as the Second World War was drawing to its close, Sylvia Smith ducked out of a career in hairdressing at the last minute to begin a life of office work. She slowly and completely accidentally worked her way up to the position of private secretary. She is unmarried with no children. A driving license and a school swimming certificate are her only qualifications, although she is also quite good at dressmaking. Misadventures was published by Canongate in 2001. Appleby House is her second book.
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