Carmen Callil was born in Melbourne in 1938. She started work in publishing in 1965, and in 1972 she founded the Virago Press of which she was Chairman and Managing Director until 1982. In 1982 she was appointed Managing Director of Chatto & Windus and The Hogarth Press where she remained until 1993, continuing, also, as Chairman of Virago Press until 1995. From 1985 she was a member of the Board of Channel 4 Television. She is now a critic and writer and divides her time between London, and South-West France.