Photograph by Cookie Kincaid

Rachel Manley was born in Cornwall, England, the daughter of an English mother and Jamaican father, the future Prime Minister, Michael Manley. At the age of two she was sent to Jamaica and was thereafter brought up by her grandparents, Norman and Edna Manley. Rachel Manley's first memoir Drumblair: Memories of a Jamaican Childhood (1996) was about those years and won the Canadian Governor General's Literary Award in 1997. Though Manley's early writing was predominantly poetry for which she was awarded the Jamaica Centennial award, she has since written two more memoirs, Slipstream: A Daughter Remembers (2000) about her father's political life and his final battle with cancer and most recently Horses in Her Hair: A Granddaughter's Story (2008). Horses in Her Hair tells the remarkable story of Edna Manley who many regard as the mother of Jamaican art. Horses is both the story of a family and a nation and the woman who left an indelible mark on both. Rachel is currently working on The Applestrudle Tree which will be published in 2010.

Rachel teaches creative writing at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is a Mary Bunting Fellow of Radcliffe College, a Guggenheim Fellow, Rockefeller Fellow (Bellagio), Pierre Berton Fellow and a New York Public Library Fellow. Rachel divides her time between Toronto and the Caribbean where she has two sons, Drum and Luke, and five grandchildren.