Enid Saunders Candlin was born in Shanghai, China, the daughter of Norman Thorpe Saunders, an American businessman, and his wife Vesta Baldwin Saunders. She attended Smith College and then went back to China, where she worked as a secretary, including for John Lossing Buck, the first husband of Pearl S. Buck.
In 1939, she married A.H. Stanton Candlin, a writer, chemist, researcher, and government official, with whom she had two daughters.
She was the author of A Breach in the Wall: A Memoir of the Old China (1971) and
A Traveler's Tale: Memories of India (1974).
She also wrote nonfiction works on Asian philosophy and art, including A Sage in the Wind and A History of Chinese Painting. She contributed articles to the Christian Science Monitor and other publications.