Sally Bayley is a Teaching and Research Fellow at the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford and from September 2018 she will be teaching writing in Oxford as a Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Sally has written widely on visual responses to literature, including a jointly authored study of Sylvia Plath's relationship to the visual arts: Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual and a study of Plath as a cultural icon: Representing Sylvia Plath. In 2010 she completed a cross-media study of Emily Dickinson as a way of thinking about America's relationship to space and place: Home on the Horizon: America's Search for Space, from Emily Dickinson to Bob Dylan. She is the author of The Private Life of the Diary (Unbound, 2016).
'Nobody writes like Sally Bayley'
'Sally Bayley's second volume of memoir is as original and
moving as the first. Shakespeare's characters walk with a family
enacting their own tragedies and comedies as they struggle with
poverty and illness. Bayley's bright, tight, sentences and tender
wit create a truly child-like perspective which allows us to
understand great pain. To be read by all educationalists'
'An extended soliloquy, requiring and amply repaying an exercise
of the reader's imagination ... Bayley's prose style, freely
associative, cryptically allusive, evocatively resonant has
affinities with (Dylan Thomas)'
Stanley Wells, TLS
'Very powerful and moving ... With many insights into aspects of
the way we live now'
'Dances along the intersections of memoir, family history,
literary criticism and autofiction ... Her writing is always fluid,
playful, surprising and challenging. Ultimately, this is a book
about healing, about how the characters of literature can help us
re imagine and redeem the challenging people we encounter in our
'No Boys Play Here glitters ... It's a truism that
reading shapes the way we see ourselves in the world, but this is
something richer and stranger: it enabled Bayley to rescue and
recreate herself. Someone should make a play of it'
'No Boys Play Here zips by, its coming of age tale
revealed in memorable scenes ... Bayley's writing flows with wit
'Sally Bayley is concerned with 'boys trying to become men, but
also girls playing at being boys' ... We follow Bayley from her
early childhood in a house ruled by women to the time when, aged
fourteen, she gave herself up for adoption, in the face of enraged
opposition from her aunt Di ... Bayley's adeptness with mobile
identities, with class as well as gender, gives her unexpected
London Review of Books