Juliet Butler was born in 1959 and grew up in Basingstoke. She moved to her parent’s farm in Devon in 1978 and worked on the farm and at various other jobs including waitress and hotel chambermaid, before doing a degree in Russian at Exeter University.


She moved to the Soviet Union in 1982 to work as a governess in the British Embassy and stayed on when she married Nikolai, a Russian citizen. She then worked as a free lance journalist for publications such as the Sunday Times newspaper, the Guardian, Stern Magazine and Time Magazine, and set up a news agency for foreign correspondents in Moscow.


She wrote about and became friends with conjoined twins Masha and Dasha, who she knew for fifteen years until she left Moscow with her husband and their three children in 2002 to live in London. 


She continued to work as a free-lance journalist and portrait painter, and wrote The Less you Know, the Sounder You Sleep in 2016. She is a widower who now travels in a camper van and continues to write from wherever she happens to be.