Helen Brown was born in New Plymouth, New Zealand, where her father managed the local gas works. After an unremarkable school career, she followed her mothers footsteps into journalism. Helen went to Wellington Polytechnic School of Journalism then trained as a cadet reporter on The Dominion.
She moved to the UK in the early 70s to become a teenage bride and work on The Woking Review along with other magazines. When the couple returned to New Zealand to have two sons, Sam and Rob, Helen started writing regular columns about so-called ordinary life. She also wrote television scripts, current affairs for national radio and was a regular guest on TVNZs Beauty and the Beast.
Her life was torn apart on January 21, 1983, when Sam, aged nine, was run over and killed. Amid the emotional devastation, a black kitten called Cleo was delivered to her doorstep. Cleo helped the shattered family take the first steps toward healing.
After Lydias birth in 1985, the family moved to Auckland where Helen worked as a feature writer for the Sunday Star. Her columns were collected in a series of eight books. She was awarded a Nuffield Press Fellowship to Cambridge University, UK.
Following her divorce, Helen met a handsome ex army officer who was meant to be a one night stand. They married in Switzerland and had a daughter, Katharine. Twenty five years later, Helen and Philip are still together, surely creating the longest one night stand in history.
Helens memoir CLEO took the world by storm in 2010. A New York Times best seller with two million copies sold, its in more than 17 languages. A major movie is in development.
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Helen Brown recommends
The Astonishing Thing (2017)
"The Astonishing Thing is a unique and poignant tale of a family's struggle as witnessed by someone who sees everything. A heartfelt homage to the four legged companions who accompany us through life's toughest times, this is a triumphant debut for Sandi Ward."
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