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Kate Grenville AO

b. 1950

Kate Grenville completed an arts degree at the University of Sydney and worked as a film editor before spending several years in the UK and Europe, where she began to write. After completing an MA in creative writing at the University of Colorado at the beginning of the 1980s, she returned to Australia in 1983 and worked at SBS Television's subtitling unit. In 1984 she published the collection of stories Bearded Ladies. The novels Lilian's Story (1985), Dreamhouse (1986) Dark Places (1995) and Joan Makes History (1988) followed. Lilian's Story (loosely based on the life of Bea Miles) was filmed starring Ruth Cracknell, Toni Collette and Barry Otto, and Dreamhouse was filmed as Traps, starring Jacqueline MacKenzie. Grenville's international best-seller The Secret River (2005) won many prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize for Literature and the Christina Stead Prize. It also formed the basis of her doctorate in creative arts from University of Technology, Sydney. The Idea of Perfection (2000) won the Orange Prize (a prominent British award for the best book by a woman) in 2001, edging out Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin. Grenville's novels have been widely published in translation. She has also written or co-written several books about the process of writing, which are used in school and university writing courses.

Updated 2018