Hilary Standing was born in Altrincham but grew up in different parts of England. She trained as a social scientist and social anthropologist and has carried out extensive research in South Asia. She taught at the University of Sussex for some years, leaving to pursue her interest in making research relevant to a wide range of practical and policy issues. She has worked in many countries, focusing particularly on the health sector. She is an Emeritus Professor and Emeritus Fellow of the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex. She has always been a secret scribbler of fiction, and in 2012 she completed an MA in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London, graduating with a distinction. As well as continuing her engagement in research with IDS and Bangladesh partners, she is currently working on two new writing projects. These focus on the world of people with learning disabilities.