Photo courtesy of UQP.
Thea Astley i(137 works by) (a.k.a. Thea Beatrice May Astley; Thea Gregson)
Born: Established: 25 Aug 1925 Brisbane, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Aug 2004 Byron Bay, Byron Bay - Broken Head area, Far North Coast, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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BiographyHistory

Thea Astley was born in Brisbane and educated at the University of Queensland. She taught in schools until 1967, then Macquarie University between 1968-80. Her novels have attracted wide praise and a number of awards, including four Miles Franklin Awards. In 1989 she won the Patrick White Award and was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland. She was made AO in 1992 and was made a Creative Fellow of the Australia Council in 1993.

Astley's fiction shows a particular interest in Queensland history and locales, and frequently explores the role of Catholicism in everyday life. The bleak action of her novels often destabilises Australian myths that circulate around the idea of a homogenous male identity. Her works expose injustice and cruelty in Australian life, especially towards Indigenous people, women and the elderly. They amount to a plea for compassion, and for awareness of the needs and suffering of those who are forgotten, marginalised or powerless.

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

Drylands : A Book for the World's Last Reader 1999 single work novel In her flat above Drylands' newsagency, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world's last reader. Little has changed her in 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV. Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business. But the town is being outmanoeuvered by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand. Small minds shrink even smaller in the vastness of the land. One man is forced out by council rates and bigotry; another sells his property, risking the lot to build his dream. And all of them are shadowed by violence of some sort - these people whose only victory over the town is in leaving it. - Summary from Trove.
2000 joint winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
2000 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
Reaching Tin River 1990 single work novel
1990 winner New South Wales State Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
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