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Thelma Forshaw was educated in Sydney before serving with the Women's Auxiliary Australian Air Force (WAAAF) in the Second World War. She has been employed as a secretary, an advertising writer, a freelance writer and book reviewer and her reviews have been published in a number of Australian journals and newspapers, including the The Bulletin, Nation, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and TheAustralian. Her short stories have also appeared in several Australian, and overseas, journals and anthologies. Hal Porter encouraged her to publish a collection of her short stories entitled An Affair of Clowns, which was inspired by, and based on, her mother's family.