The eldest of three daughters of a doctor and a maths teacher, Julia Leigh studied Arts/Law at the University of Sydney and in 1989 was editor of the University's student paper, Honi Soit
. After some time off she returned to work at the Australian Society of
where she met Frank Moorhouse
, who became a mentor for the
emerging writer (Bodey
Leigh's first novel The Hunter
was published to national and international acclaim and reviewed widely. The novel was named as one of the New York Times
Notable Books of the Year in 2001 and was longlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award in the US. In the UK it was longlisted for the Orange Prize in 2000 and Leigh was nominated by the Observer
as one of the 21 writers for the 21st century. In Canada The Hunter
was listed in the Top Ten International Fiction for 2000 by Globe & Mail.
Her national and international awards are listed below.