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Michelle De Kretser Michelle De Kretser i(A15559 works by)
Born: Established: 1957
c
Sri Lanka,
c
South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
;
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1972
Heritage: Sri Lankan
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BiographyHistory

Born in Sir Lanka, Michelle de Kretser was educated at Methodist College, Colombo, before migrating to Australia with her family in 1972, when she was 14. After completing high school in Melbourne, she studied French at the University of Melbourne. De Kretser subsequently taught for a year at Montpellier and enrolled for an MA in Paris.

After returning to Australia, de Kretser worked for many years as an editor for the travel publisher, Lonely Planet, for which, in 1998, she edited the short story and travel writing anthology Brief Encounters : Stories of Love, Sex and Travel. She was also a founding editor of the Australian Women's Book Review (1989-1992).

In the late 1990s de Kretser used long-service leave from Lonely Planet to write her first novel, The Rose Grower (1999). Her following novels were The Hamilton Case (2002), The Lost Dog (2007), Questions of Travel (2012), Springtime : A Ghost Story (2014), and The Life to Come (2017). Her novels have won a range of Australian and international awards, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Frankfurt Literaturpreis, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards (multiple times), the ALS Gold Medal, the Miles Franklin Award, and the Prime Minister's Literary Award. They have also been shortlisted for prestigious awards, including the Barbara Jefferis Award and the Stella Prize, and have been taught at universities across Australia.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Scary Monsters Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2021 22584565 2021 single work novel

'From the twice-winner of the Miles Franklin Award, Scary Monsters is an affecting, profound and darkly funny exploration into racism, misogyny and ageism.

''When my family emigrated it felt as if we'd been stood on our heads.'

'Michelle de Kretser's electrifying take on scary monsters turns the novel upside down - just as migration has upended her characters' lives.

'Lili's family migrated to Australia from Asia when she was a teenager. Now, in the 1980s, she's teaching in the south of France. She makes friends, observes the treatment handed out to North African immigrants and is creeped out by her downstairs neighbour. All the while, Lili is striving to be A Bold, Intelligent Woman like Simone de Beauvoir.

'Lyle works for a sinister government department in near-future Australia. An Asian migrant, he fears repatriation and embraces 'Australian values'. He's also preoccupied by his ambitious wife, his wayward children and his strong-minded elderly mother. Islam has been banned in the country, the air is smoky from a Permanent Fire Zone, and one pandemic has already run its course.

'Three scary monsters - racism, misogyny and ageism - roam through this mesmerising novel. Its reversible format enacts the disorientation that migrants experience when changing countries changes the story of their lives. With this suspenseful, funny and profound book, Michelle de Kretser has made something thrilling and new.

''Which comes first, the future or the past?'' (Publication summary)

2022 longlisted Indie Awards Fiction
y separately published work icon The Life to Come Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2017 11460446 2017 single work novel

'Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.

'Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

'Profoundly moving as well as bitingly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present.' (Synopsis)

2019 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2019 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2018 longlisted Voss Literary Prize
2018 winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2018 longlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2018 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2018 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2018 longlisted Indie Awards Fiction
2018 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
y separately published work icon Questions of Travel Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2012 Z1887768 2012 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

'Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

'Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.' (From the publisher's website.)

shortlisted Fiction
shortlisted
2014 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year
2014 joint winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Community Relations Commission Award With Andrew Bovell's stage adaptation of The Secret River.
2014 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2014 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Fiction
2014 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
2014 shortlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2013 winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize
2013 winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction
2013 winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
2013 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2013 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2013 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2013 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2013 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2013 shortlisted Indie Awards Fiction
Last amended 9 Sep 2019 12:15:57
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