Biography of Michelene Wandor
Michelene Dinah Wandor (née Samuels, for a time Michelene Victor, born 20 April 1940) is an English playwright, critic, broadcaster, poet, lecturer, and musician. Her parents, Abraham Samuels and Rosalia Wander, were early 20th-century Russian Jewish émigrés.
After attending Chingford Secondary Modern and High Schools, Wandor studied English at Newnham College, Cambridge graduating in 1962. She also has Masters degrees from the University of Essex (Sociology of Literature 1975-6) and in Music from London University/Trinity College of Music, London.
Wandor has been active in the Women's Liberation Movement since 1969 and edited its first collection of essays The Body Politic in 1972. Once a Feminist followed in 1990 and is an oral history of the previous twenty years. She was poetry editor of the original Time Out magazine from 1971 to 1982.
She was the first woman to have a play performed on one of the main stages (Lyttelton Theatre) of the National Theatre, The Wandering Jew (from the novel by Eugene Sue), performed in 1987. Wandor has adapted numerous novels for BBC Radio since the late-1970s including works by Jane Austen, Margaret Drabble, George Eliot and Rudyard Kipling. Her collection of short stories False Relations appeared in 2004.
In addition Wandor has written two theatre studies: Carry On, Understudies: Theatre and Sexual Politics (1986, expanded version of Understudies 1981) and Post-war British Drama: Looking Back in Gender (2001, original edition Look Back in Gender 1987). For Methuen she has edited four collections of Plays by Women.
Wandor describes herself as "a good Jewish atheist." Her recent poetry reflects her background and the history of Jews in England. Music of the Prophets (2007) commemorates the 350th anniversary of the Jews return to England in 1657 in the era of Cromwell.
A trained early musician, Wandor performs Renaissance and Baroque music with the group 'The Siena Ensemble', and has broadcast and recorded in this role.
Wandor has taught at London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London Metropolitan University and comparable institutions abroad. At Lancaster University she is currently a lecturer in Creative Writing. In 2008, Macmillan published Wandor's thoughts on this subject, The Author Is Not Dead, Merely Somewhere Else: Creative Writing Reconceived.
Michelene Wandor married literary agent Ed Victor in 1963; they divorced in 1975 having had two sons together.