Audrey Lilian Barker was born in Kent in 1918. She left school at 16 as her father, a railway clerk, was not in favour of full-time education. She was sent to work in a clock-making firm, and was then a secretary in London offices and a junior sub-editor for the Amalgamated Press. During the Second World War she worked with the Land Army and the National Fire Service; after the war she began writing for the BBC.

Her first work, the short story collection Innocents, was published in 1947; it won the first ever Somerset Maugham Award. Barker continued with jobs as publisher’s reader for Cresset Press, followed by three decades at the BBC where she was a subeditor on the Listener for five years, until she retired in 1…

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Turner, Nick. "A. L. Barker". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 July 2014
[, accessed 01 October 2016.]