Frances Oliver was born in Vienna and grew up in the USA. Soon after getting her B.A. from a progressive New York college she married an older Swiss-American who was a veteran of the Normandy landings and the Ardennes. Dux Schneider worked in publishing and later as a travel writer. They shared a passion for mountains and lived, worked , walked and climbed in a number of European countries, also Turkey and Cyprus. Dux only lived long enough to publish two books, the Jonathan Cape series 'Traveller's Guide to Turkey' and 'Bolkar', a bout a lone journey in the southern Taurus mountains. After his death, Frances and their young daughter spent some time in Greece and then settled in Cornwall, where she has continued to write and become very active in environmental campaigns.
Frances Oliver has published six novels, 'mostly about people not at, or never anywhere, at home - the life I know' and a book of 'mostly ghostly' short stories. She has also published three memoirs, the first of which, 'Girl in a Freudian Slip', describes her strange childhood as the daughter of a refugee pioneer psycho-analyst in a very alien midwestern America.