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Ruth Fainlight was born in New York City to a British father and an American mother with Russian-Jewish ancestry. After World War II, she settled in England, where she studied at colleges of art in Birmingham and Brighton. In 1959, she married writer Alan Sillitoe, with whom she had two children. She became a poet and writer, publishing short stories, plays and libretti, and translations from Italian and Spanish for more than 50 years, beginning with her first collection, Cages (1966). She has also written criticism for BBC Radio, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, and numerous other publications. Sylvia Plath was a close friend.
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