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Carmen Callil was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1938, and moved to the United Kingdom in 1960. A book publisher, she founded Virago Press in 1972 and ten years later became managing director of Chatto & Windus. She is the author (with Colm Tóibi;n) of The Modern Library: The 200 Best Novels in English Since 1950. She lives in London.