AustLit logo
Catherine Jinks Catherine Jinks i(A34825 works by)
Born: Established: 1963 Brisbane, Queensland, ;
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.


Catherine Jinks grew up in Papua New Guinea where her father was a Patrol Officer. After studying medieval history at Sydney University for four years she worked as a journalist and editor before becoming a full-time writer.

Jinks began her writing career with young adult fiction. The historical novels of the Pagan series were well received, particularly Pagan's Scribe (1996) which won several awards. By 2001 Jinks had written close to one dozen books for children and young adults, maintaining her reputation with several more awards. A three-year writing fellowship from the Australia Council enabled her to concentrate on writing full-time.

In 1996 Jinks published her first novel for adult readers, An Evening with the Messiah. She has since published adult fiction regularly, employing both contemporary and historical settings, with works such as Little White Secrets (1997), The Inquisitor (1999) and Bella Vista (2001).

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2001 Centenary Medal For service to Australian society and literature

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Shepherd Melbourne : Text Publishing , 2019 16862888 2019 single work novel historical fiction

'Fourteen-year-old convict Tom Clay lives in a shepherd’s hut in the bush, protecting his master’s sheep from wild dogs. When a vicious fellow shepherd returns to ensure there are no witnesses to his crimes, the bush-crafty Tom and his hapless mate Rowdy face a life-and-death battle to survive.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 shortlisted Text Prize for Young Adult and Children’s Writing
2020 shortlisted HNSA Historical Novel Prize
2020 shortlisted Colin Roderick Award
2020 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
2019 winner Australian Shadows Award Novel
2020 longlisted APA Book Design Awards Best Designed Commercial Fiction Cover Cover designed by Jessica Horrocks
y separately published work icon Charlatan : The Dishonest Life and Dishonoured Loves of Thomas Guthrie Carr, Stage Mesmerist North Sydney : Vintage Australia , 2017 14329082 2017 single work biography crime

'Thomas Guthrie Carr is charged by Eliza Gray with mesmerising her and raping her while she was under his influence. But if mesmerism and Mr Carr are shams, was Eliza raped?

'In the tradition of The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, Charlatan is the story of a notorious nineteenth-century court case involving a larger-than-life character. With a driving narrative and novelistic pacing, this scrupulously researched account of the life of Thomas Guthrie Carr, stage mesmerist – who lied, fought and sleazed his way around Australia and New Zealand between 1865 and 1886 – is more than just a fascinating piece of social history. It’s also a mystery, a piece of true crime, and a delicately humorous portrait of a man whose eye for the main chance and ferocious pursuit of publicity made him an oddly contemporary figure.

'With a star-studded supporting cast, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Mad Dentist of Wynyard, the Nunawading Messiah, and a host of shady mesmerists, spiritualists, phrenologists and hired goons, Charlatan delves deep into a side of colonial history not often explored, and unearths a Victorian celebrity who should never have been forgotten …'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 longlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
2018 longlisted Davitt Award Best True Crime Book
y separately published work icon Theophilus Grey and the Traitor's Mask Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2016 9192919 2016 single work children's fiction children's historical fiction

'The companion novel to Theophilus Grey and the Demon Thief is a fast-paced adventure as Philo graduates from petty fraud and street crime to high-level political espionage.

'You have too much honour for this trade, my dear. Abandon it now, while you still can.

'In eighteenth-century London, twelve-year-old linkboy Philo Grey has spent most of his childhood out on the streets, collecting information to sell. One of his best customers, Mr Bishop, pays him good money for intelligence about the Jacobites, who are plotting to overthrow King George. But spying on the Jacobites is a dangerous business - especially when Philo becomes the target of a rival gang of linkboys. And then there's Philo's old master, Garnet Hooke, who's never forgiven Philo for leaving him. Garnet feels so betrayed, he'll stop at nothing.

'Luckily, Philo has friends as well as enemies. He can trust his crew of linkboys, his team of informants, and his staunch friend Nathaniel Paxton, a surgeon with a background in espionage. Even his new friend, actress and master of disguise, Caroline Cowley, is a valuable ally. But with his enemies closing in, Philo has to ask himself: where should his loyalties really lie? And how far should they take him?' (Publication summary)

2017 shortlisted Davitt Award Best Young Adult Book
2017 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book
Last amended 8 Sep 2021 13:15:44
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: