Kay Dick
AUTHOR

Kay Dick

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Kay Dick was a celebrated novelist, writer and editor. Her life began as unconventionally as she was to live it. She was born in London in 1915 to a penniless part-Irish actress and ‘baptised’ in the Café Royal by her bohemian friends. Educated in London and Geneva, she worked at Foyles bookshop and became the first female director of an English publishing house, P.S. King & Son, aged just 26 (George Orwell inscribed her copy of Animal Farm: 'Kay – To make it and me acceptable' in recognition of her editorial work). She later wrote for the New Statesman and reviewed for the Times, Spectator and Punch, as well as editing literary magazine The Windmill under the pseudonym Edward Lane. Dick wrote five novels including They (1977), which won the South-East Arts Literature Prize but soon went out of print; it was recently rediscovered and celebrated as 'a lost dystopian masterpiece' (Paris Review) before being republished with a new foreword by Carmen Maria Machado. Dick also researched biographies of Colette, Carlyle and the character of Pierrot; edited anthologies of stories and interviews; and tirelessly campaigned for Public Lending Right alongside Brigid Brophy. For 22 years she lived with her long-term partner, novelist Kathleen Farrell, in Hampstead, before moving to Brighton, where she championed young writers in a book-lined flat with ‘cigarettes, cream teas and martinis’. Dick died in 2001.
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