Susan Varga i(35 works by) (birth name: ZsuZsi Schwimmer)
Born: Established: 1943
Eastern Europe, Europe,
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1948
Heritage: Hungarian
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Susan Varga received her Master of Arts (English) degree at the University of Sydney in 1973, followed by a law degree at the University of New South Wales. She worked as a teacher in the late 1970s and wrote scripts for training videos issued by the Office of Youth Affairs. She also worked as an arts administrator, journalist and lawyer, combining the last two when she interviewed Greg McIntyre, the solicitor for the Mabo case for the ABC's radio programme Law Report in 1986 (reproduced in the February 1987 issue of the Aboriginal Law Bulletin). Varga settled into full-time writing in 1990. A community activist, Varga was a co-founder of Rural Australians for Refugees, and the Chair of the Becher Foundation which funds social innovation projects.


  • Author writes in these languages:ENGLISH, HUNGARIAN

Awards for Works

Headlong : A Novel 2009 single work novel Julie has suddenly lost her husband and, along with him, her will to live. The vital, energetic old woman that her daughter Kati thought she knew has disappeared almost overnight. How is Kati to cope with a mother constantly on the verge of suicide? This finely wrought tale of love and conflict casts a searchlight into dark areas- how people deal with ageing, loss, death and grief. At what point are you allowed to say 'Life is not worth living'? (Publisher's Blurb).
2010 shortlisted Barbara Jefferis Award
Happy Families 1999 single work novel Happy Families explores, amongst many things, the value of curiosity in love and the ghosts of relationships past (Publisher Blurb)
2000 winner Vision Australia Foundation Audio Book Awards Adult Audio Book of the Year Also winner, Adult Narrator of the Year (Helen Morse) who read the story.
Heddy and Me 1994 single work biography In telling her mother's story, Susan Varga also tells her own. As a tiny baby she barely survived the holocaust, in hiding in a Hungarian village with her sister and mother, Heddy. Neither pain nor the devastation of this time lessened Heddy's will to go on to recreate her life in Australia. (Book cover)
1995 shortlisted NBC Banjo Awards NBC Banjo Award for Non-Fiction
1994 winner The Fellowship of Australian Writers Victoria Inc. National Literary Awards FAW Christina Stead Award Biography.
Last amended 6 Jan 2009
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