Dominic Smith grew up in the Blue Mountains and at Bondi, Sydney. He later moved to the US where he gained an MFA in writing from the Michener Center for Writers at the University of Texas at Austin. Smith's short fiction has been published in a range of international journals including the Atlantic Monthly.
Smith's awards include 'the Dobie Paisano Fellowship from the Texas Institute of Letters, the Sherwood Anderson Fiction Prize, and the Gulf Coast Fiction Prize. In 2006, his debut novel The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Program. It also received the Steven Turner Prize for First Fiction from the Texas Institute of Letters. [Smith's] second novel, The Beautiful Miscellaneous, was optioned for a film by Southpaw Entertainment.'
Smith has taught at the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, the University of Texas at Austin and the Southern Methodist University.
'This is what we long for: the profound pleasure of being swept into vivid new worlds, worlds peopled by characters so intriguing and real that we can't shake them, even long after the reading's done. In his earlier, award-winning novels, Dominic Smith demonstrated a gift for coaxing the past to life. Now, in The Last Painting of Sara de Vos, he deftly bridges the historical and the contemporary, tracking a collision course between a rare landscape by a female Dutch painter of the golden age, an inheritor of the work in 1950s Manhattan, and a celebrated art historian who painted a forgery of it in her youth.
'In 1631, Sara de Vos is admitted as a master painter to the Guild of St. Luke's in Holland, the first woman to be so recognized. Three hundred years later, only one work attributed to de Vos is known to remain–a haunting winter scene, At the Edge of a Wood, which hangs over the bed of a wealthy descendant of the original owner. An Australian grad student, Ellie Shipley, struggling to stay afloat in New York, agrees to paint a forgery of the landscape, a decision that will haunt her. Because now, half a century later, she's curating an exhibit of female Dutch painters, and both versions threaten to arrive. As the three threads intersect, The Last Painting of Sara de Vos mesmerizes while it grapples with the demands of the artistic life, showing how the deceits of the past can forge the present.' (Publication summary)
'Set amid the skyscrapers of 1890s Chicago and the far-flung islands of the South Pacific, Bright and Distant Shores is both a sweeping epic and a triumph of lyrical storytelling. Chicago First Equitable has won the race to construct the world's tallest building and its president, Hale Gray, hits upon a surefire way to make it an enduring landmark: to establish on the roof an exhibition of real-life "savages".
'He sponsors a South Seas voyage to collect not only weaponry and artefacts, but also "several natives related by blood" for the company's rooftop spectacle. Caught up in this scheme are two orphans: Owen Graves, the voyage's head trader from Chicago's South Side, and Argus Niu, a mission houseboy in Melanesia - two young men haunted by their pasts.' (From the publisher's website.)