Kate Grenville - Author

About the Author

Kate Grenville was born in Sydney. Her most recent novel, The Idea of Perfection, won the Orange Prize for Fiction and became a long-running bestseller. Her five other works of fiction have won numerous awards. Kate Grenville lives in Sydney with her family.

 

Fellow novelist ANNE BERRY on KATE GRENVILLE

Quite honestly words fail me when it comes to Kate Grenville’s Secret River. It stands alone. It is exemplary. We are whisked away from England in the company of convicted criminal William Thornhill and his wife, Sal, to a convict colony in Sydney, Australia. It is there that he settles with his family, determined to work the land and make a good life for himself. But he soon comes into conflict with the native Aborigines. It is a treasure this story, told in my opinion by one of the finest writers I have ever read.

Featured books by Kate Grenville

A Room Made of Leaves

A Room Made of Leaves

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/06/2021

Our August 2020 Book Club Recommendation. Click here to see our Reading Group Questions. Glorious! A novel of such startling sincerity, clarity and eloquence it feels as though the narrator herself is stamped onto every page. A Room Made of Leaves is inspired by letters and documents on entrepreneur and pioneer John Macarthur and his wife Elizabeth. They left England in 1788 for New South Wales in Australia when he was posted as Lieutenant to the penal colony of Sydney Town. This is Kate Grenville’s first novel in a decade, she is the author of the 2006 Man Booker shortlisted novel The Secret River. Elizabeth narrates, headstrong and wilful she nonetheless finds she is folding herself smaller and smaller in order to not be observed. Each chapter may be short but they are full of suppressed emotion, candour, and are as compelling as can be. The chapter headings, if all joined together, would create a story in themselves. As each word, as each sentence and chapter flowers, the inner being of Elizabeth opened to allow me to see, and also feel her emotions. The cover is gorgeous and the understanding of the title when it came, made the beauty resonate all the more. Australia is obviously much loved, and I in turn loved reading between the lines of history. Unique and spirited, A Room Made of Leaves truly is a beautiful novel, it also deservedly joins our LoveReading Star Books. Have a look at our Ambassador Book Buzz for A Room Made of Leaves. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Star Books
The Secret River

The Secret River

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/08/2019

A deeply moving and unflinching journey into Australia's dark history, telling the story of two families divided by culture and land. William Thornhill arrives in New South Wales a convict from the slums of London. Upon earning his pardon he discovers that this new world offers something he didn't dare dream of: a place to call his own. But as he plants a crop and lays claim to the soil on the banks of the Hawkesbury River, he finds that this land is not his to take. Its ancient custodians are the Dharug people. The Secret River, adapted from Kate Grenville's acclaimed novel by playwright Andrew Bovell, was first performed in January 2013 at the Sydney Theatre, performed by Sydney Theatre Company. It has its UK premiere at the Edinburgh International Festival in August 2019, before coming to the National Theatre, London.

eBooks of the Month
The Lieutenant

The Lieutenant

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/09/2019

In 1788 Daniel Rooke sets out on a journey that will change the course of his life. As a lieutenant in the First Fleet, he lands on the wild and unknown shores of New South Wales. There he sets up an observatory to chart the stars. But this country will prove far more revelatory than the skies above. Based on real events, The Lieutenant tells the unforgettable story of Rooke's connection to an Aboriginal child - a remarkable friendship that resonates across the oceans and the centuries.

eBooks of the Month
Sarah Thornhill

Sarah Thornhill

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 27/08/2012

Sarah and Jack have never doubted that they are made for each other. But there is someone in Sarah's family who will not tolerate the relationship. The reason lies in both the past and the present, and it will take Sarah across an ocean to a place she never imagined she would be. Kate Grenville takes us back to the Australia of The Secret River in this novel about love, tangled histories and how it matters to keep stories alive.

eBooks of the Month

Other books by Kate Grenville

A Room Made of Leaves

A Room Made of Leaves

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/08/2020

Our August 2020 Book Club Recommendation. Click here to see our Reading Group Questions. Glorious! A novel of such startling sincerity, clarity and eloquence it feels as though the narrator herself is stamped onto every page. A Room Made of Leaves is inspired by letters and documents on entrepreneur and pioneer John Macarthur and his wife Elizabeth. They left England in 1788 for New South Wales in Australia when he was posted as Lieutenant to the penal colony of Sydney Town. This is Kate Grenville’s first novel in a decade, she is the author of the 2006 Man Booker shortlisted novel The Secret River. Elizabeth narrates, headstrong and wilful she nonetheless finds she is folding herself smaller and smaller in order to not be observed. Each chapter may be short but they are full of suppressed emotion, candour, and are as compelling as can be. The chapter headings, if all joined together, would create a story in themselves. As each word, as each sentence and chapter flowers, the inner being of Elizabeth opened to allow me to see, and also feel her emotions. The cover is gorgeous and the understanding of the title when it came, made the beauty resonate all the more. Australia is obviously much loved, and I in turn loved reading between the lines of history. Unique and spirited, A Room Made of Leaves truly is a beautiful novel, it also deservedly joins our LoveReading Star Books. Have a look at our Ambassador Book Buzz for A Room Made of Leaves. Visit our 'Women's Words - 60+ works of feminist-minded fiction' to explore our collection of feminist-minded fiction from around the world, and across centuries.

Star Books
The Case Against Fragrance

The Case Against Fragrance

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2018

The Case Against Fragrance by Kate Grenville

The Idea of Perfection

The Idea of Perfection

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/10/2017

With an introduction by Evie Wyld The Idea of Perfection by Kate Grenville is a funny and touching romance between two people who've given up on love. Set in the eccentric little backwater of Karakarook, New South Wales, pop. 1374, it tells the story of Douglas Cheeseman, a gawky engineer with jug-handle ears, and Harley Savage, a woman altogether too big and too abrupt for comfort. Harley is in Karakarook to foster 'Heritage', and Douglas is there to pull down the quaint old Bent Bridge. From day one, they're on a collision course. But out of this unpromising conjunction of opposites, something unexpected happens: sometimes even better than perfection.

One Life

One Life

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 25/02/2016

'Clear, authentic and utterly engaging . . . it is as successful as it is authentic' Independent on Sunday Born to an unhappy marriage and into a deeply sexist society, Nance Russell worked hard for everything she had, and while the world changed around her, she went on to university, to opening businesses and raising a family. One Life is Nance's story - and many other women's too - beautifully captured by her daughter, the bestselling novelist Kate Grenville. Kate draws on the tales passed down to her to create an evocative portrait of life in twentieth-century rural Australia, and a deeply intimate and caring homage to a mother.

The Secret River

The Secret River

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Audio disc Release Date: 01/06/2015

The Secret River by Kate Grenville

Bearded Ladies

Bearded Ladies

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/12/2014

Kate Grenville's bearded ladies live on the fringe of things, where nothing is quite as it seems. Their beards are invisible, but the women, and men, in these highly acclaimed black comedies are just as out of step and out of place as if they were in a side show.

Dreamhouse

Dreamhouse

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/12/2014

It should have been a perfect summer, but for Louise and Rennie their dreamhouse is the stuff of nightmares. Kate Grenville's extraordinary, disturbing novel evokes the mystery and menace underpinning everyday life.

Joan Makes History

Joan Makes History

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Ebook Release Date: 01/11/2014

In this rollicking, irreverent tour de force, Kate Grenville rewrites the familiar past. Joan is a wife and mother of no great distinction, but in the life of her imagination she is on the front line of events, effortlessly subverting the solemnity of momentous occasions and cheerfully altering the course of history. First published in 1988, Joan Makes History was funded by the Australian Bicentennial Authority to celebrate 200 years of history.

Lilian's Story

Lilian's Story

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2007

Shielded from emotional and physical abuse by layers of fat, Lilian struggles to escape a suffocating existence in the home of her tyrannical Victorian father and her elegant but ineffectual mother. Madness, cruelty and sexuality permeate the family's upper-crust Australian world. Lilian Una Singer starts life at the beginning of the twentieth century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family. She ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets, quoting Shakespeare. This book traces the progress of her life's journey, and why she made the choices she did. She's a person large in spirit as well as body, who wants to invent her own story, rather than allow it to be invented for her. Life presents her with many obstacles including the sinister advances of her father - but in spite of this she succeeds. Triumphantly she makes her life her own, savouring every moment with the reminder that 'everything matters'.

Searching For The Secret River

Searching For The Secret River

Author: Kate Grenville Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/07/2007

Kate Grenville's The Secret River was one of the most loved novels of 2006. Shortlisted for the Booker Prize and awarded the Commonwealth Writer's Prize, the story of William Thornhill and his journey from London to the other side of the world has moved and exhilarated hundreds of thousands of readers. Searching for the Secret River tells the story of how Grenville came to write this wonderful book. It is in itself an amazing story, beginning with Grenville's great-great-great grandfather. Grenville starts to investigate her ancestor, hoping to understand his life. She pursues him from Sydney to London and back, and slowly she begins to realise she must write about him. Searching for the Secret River maps this creative journey into fiction, and illuminates the importance of family in all our lives.

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