Maggie Hemingway was born in England but moved to New Zealand with her family at age three. Returning to England as a teenager, she read French and English at Edinburgh University and graduated in 1967. She married Michael Dias, with whom she had two daughters. The couple separated in the late 1970s, and she moved to London and worked in publishing. Her first novel, The Bridge (1986) was published to critical acclaim and won the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize from the Royal Society of Literature. It was adapted into a film in 1992. Her subsequent novels included The Postman's House (1991), based on her experiences in Czechoslovakia before the Velvet Revolution. She collaborated with her partner, composer David Matthews, on three vocal works. She died at age 47 of aplastic anemia.