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Marion grew up in South Africa at a time of political conflict, lived for some years in Zambia where her children were born, and then had to leave suddenly after another political crisis. She has lived in Britain since 1976. She has organized adult education provision, pioneered educational projects with multi-ethnic communities, and is now an advisor on children's rights to Save the Children, supporting projects with disadvantaged children in over fifty countries. She has written and lectured widely on issues of language, culture and education.
She has won prizes for both her earlier novels - If you can walk, you can dance won the Commonwealth Writers Prize for the best book in the Africa region, and was selected in the top 20 titles in the New Zealand Women's Book Festival. A shield of coolest air won the David Thomas prize. Her short story collection, A language in common, has been translated into five languages. The Bracelets was a winner in the London short story competition and published by Serpent's Tail in Well Sorted.