Kate Grenville is one of Australia's best-known authors. She's published eight books of fiction and four books about the writing process. Her best-known works are the international best-seller The Secret River, The Idea of Perfection, The Lieutenant and Lilian's Story (details about all Kate Grenville's books are elsewhere on this site). Her novels have won many awards both in Australia and the UK, several have been made into major feature films, and all have been translated into European and Asian languages.
Kate Grenville was born in Sydney, Australia. After completing an Arts degree at Sydney University she worked in the film industry (mainly as an editor) before living in the UK and Europe for several years and starting to write.
In 1980 she went to the USA and completed an MA in Creative Writing at the University of Colorado, where her teachers included Ron Sukenick, Robert Steiner and Steve Katz.
On her return to Australia in 1983 she worked at the Subtitling Unit for SBS Television. In 1984 her first book, a collection of stories - Bearded Ladies - was published.
Since then she's published eight novels and four books about the writing process (one co-written with Sue Woolfe). In 2006 she was awarded a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS, Sydney.
The Secret River ( 2005) has won many prizes, including the Commonwealth Prize for Literature and the Christina Stead Prize. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Award. Since publication it has become an international best-seller and has been translated into many languages. (It also formed the basis for a Doctorate of Creative Arts from University of Technology, Sydney.)
The Idea of Perfection (2000) won the Orange Prize, Lilian's Story (1985) was awarded the Vogel/Australian Prize, and Dark Places (1995) won the Victorian Premier's Prize.
Her other works of fiction have been published to acclaim in Australia and overseas, and have appeared in translation: Dreamhouse (1986), Joan Makes History (1988) and The Lieutenant (2008) have become classics, admired by critics and general readers alike.
Lilian's Story was filmed starring Ruth Cracknell, Toni Collette and Barry Otto. Dreamhouse was filmed under the title Traps, starring Jacqueline MacKenzie. The Idea of Perfection and The Secret River are in pre-production.
Kate Grenville's books about the writing process, and her memoir about the writing of The Secret River ( Searching for The Secret River) are used in many writing courses in schools and universities.
Her most recent novel (August 2011) is Sarah Thornhill, a sequel to The Secret River. It's a story about what happens when you uncover dark secrets from the past, and is told through the voice of the youngest daughter of William Thornhill of The Secret River. Together with The Lieutenant and The Secret River, it forms a loose trilogy about the first three generations of colonial Australia.
In March 2010 Kate Grenville was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by the University of New South Wales and in November 2012 she was awarded the same honour by the University of Sydney.