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Carmel Bird Carmel Bird i(A31077 works by)
Also writes as: Jack Power
Born: Established: 1940 Launceston, Northeast Tasmania, Tasmania, ;
Gender: Female
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Carmel Bird was born and educated in Tasmania, taking a BA before embarking on a twenty-year teaching career in 1961.

Bird published her first collection of short stories in 1983 and has since published several more collections and a number of novels. The Bluebird Cafe (1990) ,The White Garden (1995) and Red Shoes (1998) attracted much attention and were shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award. In 2000, she won the Philip Hodgins Memorial Award which was presented during the Mildura Writers' Festival in March 2001.

Bird has been Consulting Editor for Turnstyle (1984-85), Co-Editor of Fine Lines in early 1990s, Fiction Editor of the Australasian Post from 1995 to 1997 and Fiction Editor of Voices in the late 1990s. She has published several guides for writers and edited a number of publications. The recipient of many Australia Council grants, she is a regular writer-in-residence at schools, colleges and universities.

Tasmania is a frequent setting in Bird's fiction, animated with narratives that are often surreal and macabre. The beauty of the island often masks the brutal convict settlements and the extermination of Indigenous Australians by European settlers. Bird explores this disjunction by employing perspectives that are meant to reflect the irony of Tasmania's existence.

The 2016 recipient of the Patrick White Award, Bird had published over thirty books by 2018.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Field of Poppies Yarraville : Transit Lounge , 2019 16933652 2019 single work novel

'Keen to escape the pressures of city life, Marsali Swift and her husband William are drawn to Listowel, a glorious historic mansion in the seemingly tranquil small town of Muckleton. There is time to read, garden, decorate, play chess and befriend the locals.

'Yet one night Listowel is robbed, and soon after a neighbor is murdered. The violent history of the couple’s adopted Goldfields town is revealed, and plans for a new goldmine emerge.

'Subtle and sinister details unnerve. The novels that are studied at book club echo disappearances and colonial transgressions, a treasured copy of Monet ‘s Field of Poppies recalls loves and dreams but also times of war.

'Atmospheric and beguiling this is a novel the seduces the reader with mysteries and beauties but also speaks of something much larger. The planet is in trouble, but is the human race up to the challenge? Are Marsali and William walking blindfold into a hostile world?'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2020 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
y separately published work icon Family Skeleton Crawley : UWA Publishing , 2016 9660329 2016 single work novel

'From inside her Toorak mansion, Margaret, matriarch, widow of Edmund Rice O’Day of O’Day Funerals, secretly surveys her family in the garden. Everyone, including Margaret herself, is oblivious to the secrets that threaten to be uncovered by a visiting American relative who is determined to excavate the O’Day’s family history. How far will Margaret go in order to bury the truth? Family Skeleton examines the dark heart of a family that has for generations been engaged in dark business. You can’t dig a grave without disturbing the smooth surface of the ground.

'Deftly woven with elegant wit and with compassion, this dark comedy is about what you might unearth if you dig deep enough.' (Publication summary)

2017 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
y separately published work icon Cape Grimm Pymble : Flamingo , 2004 Z1095404 2004 single work novel (taught in 1 units)

'One clear evening in 1992 all the inhabitants enter the church hall, where they are locked in and burned alive. They have been persuaded to do this by a young man called Caleb Mean - also known as El Nino, the Christ Child. The only survivors of the fire are Caleb, his lover Virginia, and their baby daughter Golden. How could such a thing happen? And why? Do the answers lie in the tragedy of the Aborigines herded over the cliffs at Cape Grimm by white settlers? Are they in the history of Skye itself, founded by the unlikely survivors of a 19th-century shipwreck? Or do they lie within the mysteries of the human soul?' 

Source: ABE Books

2006 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Last amended 2 Nov 2018 10:06:49
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