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Carmen Callil was born in Australia and moved to England, where she began working in the publishing industry. In 1972 she founded Virago, publishing such authors as A.S. Byatt, Angela Carter, and Toni Morrison. She was subsequently Managing and Publishing Director of Chatto & Windus, publisher-at large for Random House UK, and Director of Channel 4 Television. The recipient of numerous honorary degrees, she is a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Arts and co-author of The Modern Library.