Newman was born in Dover, Kent. An only child, she taught at a grammar school after graduating with a degree in English from the Westfield College, University of London. A film version of her novel Three Into Two Won't Go (1967), with a screenplay by Edna O'Brien, was released in 1969. It stars Rod Steiger and Claire Bloom, and was directed by Peter Hall.
Newman adapted her sixth novel A Bouquet of Barbed Wire (1969) for London Weekend Television (LWT) in 1976, as a seven-part serial. Newman recalled her work in 2010 at the time when it was being remade: "I never set out to shock, just to tell a story about an imaginary family, but I imagine most people would still disapprove of hitting your pregnant wife and having sex with her mother." The dramatisation was a popular success; its sequel, Another Bouquet, followed in 1977.
Another similar novel, Mackenzie, was dramatized by the BBC in 1980, starring Jack Galloway, Lynda Bellingham and Tracey Ullman. This adaptation was followed by Alexa (1968 – adapted for the BBC, 1982), A Sense of Guilt (1988 – adapted for the BBC, 1990), and An Evil Streak (1977 – adapted for LWT, 1999). In 2001, Newman was the writer for the television drama Pretending to Be Judith.
Her other novels included A Share of the World (1964), Mirage (1965), The Cage (1966) and A Gift of Poison (1991). A book of 15 short stories, Triangles, was published in 1990. It was remarked that a frequent theme in Andrea Newman's novels was that with the advent of a baby, the family disintegrates.
Newman died in London, aged 81.
- "Andrea Newman, creator of racy novels and TV dramas of tangled married life such as the hit 'Bouquet of Barbed Wire' – obituary". The Daily Telegraph. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Janet Moat "Newman, Andrea (1938–2019)", BFI screenonline. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Andrea Newman (3 September 2010). "'I never set out to shock': Andrea Newman". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- The Sunday Times; The 100 hottest tickets of the year 10 January 2010.