Denise Harris was born in Georgetown Guyana in 1950, the daughter of the novelist Wilson Harris. Her uncle is the Guyanese writer, Jan Carew.
She has worked for UNICEF for many years, in Beijing (3 years), Barbados (2 years) and Jamaica (13 years), where she also worked as a freelance photographer. She currently works for UNICEF in New York. As part of her job she has also travelled widely.
She describes her first novel, Web of Secrets (Peepal Tree, 1996) as ‘fictional autobiography’, and the novel gives a picture of a sensitive child suffering considerably from the stress of marital breakdown, the African-Indian racial violence of early 1960’s Georgetown and the failure of the family to confront the racial tensions within it.
Peepal Tree published her second novel In Remembrance of Her in 2004.