Born: Established: 2 Sep 1958 Sydney ;
After completing her secondary education, Kathleen Stewart studied architecture for one year, but abandoned the course in order to pursue music and writing. For a time, she studied singing and acting, and wrote music and song lyrics. Stewart had wanted to become an opera singer and learnt German to sing German operas. She was also the lead singer with a band called Upside Down House that toured the east coast of Australia in the 1980s. While living in London, Paris and Berlin, Stewart decided to focus solely on writing. She returned to Australia in 1988 and took up residence on the NSW south coast, later moving to Melbourne.
After a long period in Melbourne's inner suburbs, Stewart moved to Bondi, Sydney and has since lived in Tempe, an inner suburb of Sydney. Melissa Fyfe observes: 'Her work may make you heavy of heart but, in person, Stewart is herself a breath of fresh air. She is calm and thoughtful, gothic and witchy, but also hippy and earthy. She has long, jet black hair and matching jet eyelashes and on the day we meet her toe nails are painted green. Some time later, when I see her walking in the street, she wears the same color green, this time on her tights.' In 1996 she was awarded a Literature Board fellowship for one year. Stewart's novels and poetry have attracted nominations for major Australian literary awards.
(Source: Melissa Fyfe, 'Into the Depths', The Sunday Age (28 October 2001): 10).