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Jane Rogers Biography

(1952– ), Separate Tracks, Her Living Image, The Ice Is Singing, Mr Wroe's Virgins

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: John Rhode to Jack [Morris] Rosenthal Biography

British novelist, born in London, educated at Cambridge University. Her first novel, Separate Tracks (1983), traces with imaginative boldness the lives of Emma, an undergraduate of enlightened middle-class parents, and Orph, a working-class youth brought up in care. Her Living Image (1984) deals with a split personality, Carolyn Tanner, who is both conventional wife and mother and, as Caro, a radical feminist with like-minded friends. The Ice Is Singing (1987) is an account of a woman running away from her husband and writing stories to fend off self-confrontation. Mr Wroe's Virgins (1991) recreates the world of John Wroe, a Bradford religious fanatic who, in the 1820s, founded a Christian Israelite Church in Ashton-under-Lyme, near Manchester, and who in 1830 asked for, and was given, seven virgins to live in this household. The novel is told by four of the virgins, and explores their contrasting relationships with Wroe, and the tensions between the spiritual, sexual, and societal lives within the artificial circumstances of an extreme Puritan community. Promised Lands (1995) interweaves the story of William Dawes, naval officer and astronomer and part of the 1788 British expeditionary force that founded Sydney, with the contemporary first-person narratives of a teacher and his wife, to create a novel exploring exile, colonialism, creativity, and motherhood.

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