AustLit logo
NLA image of person
Brenda Walker Brenda Walker i(A20614 works by)
Born: Established: 1957 Grafton, Grafton area, Grafton - Maclean area, Mid North Coast, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Brenda Walker studied at the University of New England and completed a doctorate on the work of Samuel Beckett at the Australian National University. Since 1984, she has taught at the University of Western Australia, where she has been an Associate Professor within the School of Social and Cultural Studies. As well as creative writing, her areas of research interest include gender studies, Australian literature and late modernism. Walker served as the reviews editor advisor for Westerly from 1989 to 1999. Her work has been published in numerous Australian and international journals.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Reading by Moonlight : How Books Saved a Life Camberwell : Hamish Hamilton , 2010 Z1678187 2010 single work autobiography (taught in 2 units)

'The first time Brenda Walker packed her bag to go into hospital, she wondered which book to take with her. As a novelist and professor of literature, her life had been built around reading and writing. Now she was also a patient, being treated for breast cancer, fighting for her life and afraid for herself and her family. But turning to medicine didn't mean she turned away from fiction. Books had always been her solace and sustenance, and now choosing the right one was the most important thing she could do for herself.

'In Reading by Moonlight, Brenda describes the five stages of her treatment and how different books and authors helped her through the tumultuous process of recovery. As well as offering wonderful introductions and insights into the work of writers like Dante, Tolstoy, Nabokov, Beckett and Dickens, Brenda shows how the very process of reading - surrendering and then regathering yourself - echoes the process of healing.

'Reading by Moonlight guides, reassures, throws light on dark places, and finds beauty in the stories that come to us in times of jeopardy. It affirms that reading can be essential to life itself.' (From the publisher's website.)

2012 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Award for Non-Fiction
2010 shortlisted Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Non-Fiction
2011 winner Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2011 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Douglas Stewart Prize for Non-Fiction
2010 winner Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction
2010 shortlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Non-Fiction Book
The Window i "Empty morings are beautiful,", 2008 single work poetry
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 299 2008; (p. 44-45) The Best Australian Poems 2008 2008; (p. 135-138) Motherlode : Australian Women's Poetry 1986 - 2008 2009; (p. 196-199)
2008 shortlisted Peter Porter Poetry Prize Prize known as the ABR Poetry Prize in 2008.
y separately published work icon The Wing of Night Camberwell : Viking , 2005 Z1211119 2005 single work novel historical fiction

'In 1915 a troopship of Light Horsemen sails from Fremantle for the Great War. Two women farewell their men: Elizabeth, with her background of careless wealth, and Bonnie, who is marked by the anxieties of poverty. Neither can predict how the effects of the most brutal fighting at Gallipoli will devastate their lives in the long aftermath of the war.

'The Wing of Night is a novel about the strength and failure of faith and memory, about returned soldiers who become exiles in their own country, about how people may become the very opposite of what they imagined themselves to be. Brenda Walker writes with a terrible grandeur of the grime and drudge of the battlefield, and of how neither men nor women can be consoled for the wreckage caused by a foreign war.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2006 winner Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2006 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2006 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2007 winner Asher Literary Award
2006 co-winner 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature The Alex Buzo Shortlist Prize One of six winners.
2006 shortlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature

Known archival holdings

National Library of Australia (ACT)
Last amended 11 Apr 2018 16:36:42
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: