Eugenie Fraser was born in Archangel, the daughter of a Russian father and a Scottish mother. She and her mother fled the Russian Revolution of 1917 and settled in Edinburgh, Scotland. She married a business executive and spent many years living in India and Thailand. She wrote a bestselling memoir of her childhood called The House by the Dvina (1984), followed by The Dvina Remains (1996), describing her first return visit to Russia 50 years later. She also wrote a book about her early married life, A Home by the Hooghly.