Grand-daughter of a Welsh coal-miner, Thelma Wheatley immigrated to Canada in her twenties to teach, and obtained her Master's degree in English at York University. She married a Sri Lankan in the 1960s when "mixed" marriages were frowned upon. Wheatley bonded closely with her Eurasian Sri Lankan in-laws in Toronto, who were part of the British colonial empire in Ceylon (later, Sri Lanka. She is the author of award-winning And Neither Have I Wings To Fly: Labelled and Locked Up in Canada's Oldest Institution (2013), which was short-listed for the Wales Book of the Year Award 2014 among other awards. Her first book was about her autistic son, My Sad Is All Gone: A Family's Triumph Over Violent Autism (2004). Tamarind Sky is her debut novel.