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Shirley Conran

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Shirley Conran (born 21 September 1932) is a British novelist and journalist.

Life and writings

Conran is a bestselling author, whose books include Lace and Superwoman. She has been a columnist for Vanity Fair, women's editor of The Daily Mail and a feature writer for The Observer.

Lace spent 13 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list, reaching as high as #6, and was adapted into a 1980s US miniseries.

Conran was educated at the University of Portsmouth. She was successfully treated for skin cancer[when?] and has suffered from ME. She is the ex-wife of British designer, restaurateur, retailer and writer Sir Terence Conran and mother to Sebastian Conran and Jasper Conran, both of whom are designers. Her two later husbands included Kevin O'Sullivan, now the husband of Victoria Glendinning. Conran has homes in France and London, and lived in Monaco for several years.

She is known for coining the phrases "Life's too short to stuff a mushroom" and "First things first, second things never".[citation needed]



  • Lace (Simon & Schuster, 1982)
  • Lace 2 (1985)
  • The Complete Story (omnibus, 1986)
  • Savages (1987, movie rights owned by Warner Brothers but never made)
  • Crimson (1992)
  • Tiger Eyes (1994)
  • The Revenge (aka Revenge of Mimi Quinn, 1998)
  • The Amazing Umbrella Shop (1990)


  • Superwoman (1975)
  • Superwoman 2 (1977)
  • Futurewoman: How to Survive Life After Thirty (1979)
  • Superwoman in Action (1979)
  • The Magic Garden (1983)
  • Down with Superwoman: For Everyone Who Hates Housework (1990)


  • The Magic Garden was adapted as a computer program and published by Acornsoft for the BBC Micro as Shirley Conran's Magic Garden.