Gillian Bradshaw was born in Washington DC, second daughter of an English mother and an American father. She grew up in Washington, Chile, and Michigan. At the University of Michigan, she did joint honors in English and Classics, and won the Hopwood Award for Fiction, the Bain-Swigett Prize for poetry in traditional form, and the Phillips Prize for Classical Greek. From U of M, she went to Newnham College, Cambridge, in the UK, to read Classics. She now lives in Coventry and the University of Warwick and has four children and one grandson.