AustLit logo
image of person or book cover 7576594735510331168.jpg
Image courtesy of publisher's website.
Michelle De Kretser Michelle De Kretser i(A15559 works by)
Born: Established: 1957
c
Sri Lanka,
c
South Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
;
Gender: Female
Arrived in Australia: 1972
Heritage: Sri Lankan
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.

BiographyHistory

Born in Sir Lanka, Michelle de Kretser was educated at Methodist College, Colombo, before migrating to Australia with her family in 1972, when she was 14. After completing high school in Melbourne, she studied French at the University of Melbourne. De Kretser subsequently taught for a year at Montpellier and enrolled for an MA in Paris.

After returning to Australia, de Kretser worked for many years as an editor for the travel publisher, Lonely Planet, for which, in 1998, she edited the short story and travel writing anthology Brief Encounters : Stories of Love, Sex and Travel. She was also a founding editor of the Australian Women's Book Review (1989-1992).

In the late 1990s de Kretser used long-service leave from Lonely Planet to write her first novel, The Rose Grower (1999). Her following novels were The Hamilton Case (2002), The Lost Dog (2007), Questions of Travel (2012), Springtime : A Ghost Story (2014), and The Life to Come (2017). Her novels have won a range of Australian and international awards, including the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Frankfurt Literaturpreis, the NSW Premier's Literary Awards (multiple times), the ALS Gold Medal, the Miles Franklin Award, and the Prime Minister's Literary Award. They have also been shortlisted for prestigious awards, including the Barbara Jefferis Award and the Stella Prize, and have been taught at universities across Australia.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

The Life to Come 2017 single work novel

'Set in Sydney, Paris and Sri Lanka, The Life to Come is a mesmerising novel about the stories we tell and don't tell ourselves as individuals, as societies and as nations. It feels at once firmly classic and exhilaratingly contemporary.

'Pippa is a writer who longs for success. Celeste tries to convince herself that her feelings for her married lover are reciprocated. Ash makes strategic use of his childhood in Sri Lanka but blots out the memory of a tragedy from that time. Driven by riveting stories and unforgettable characters, here is a dazzling meditation on intimacy, loneliness and our flawed perception of other people.

'Profoundly moving as well as bitingly funny, The Life to Come reveals how the shadows cast by both the past and the future can transform, distort and undo the present.' (Synopsis)

2019 nominated International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2018 longlisted Voss Literary Prize
2018 winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
2018 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2018 longlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2018 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2018 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2018 longlisted Indie Awards Fiction
2018 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
Questions of Travel 2012 single work novel

'A mesmerising literary novel, Questions of Travel charts two very different lives. Laura travels the world before returning to Sydney, where she works for a publisher of travel guides. Ravi dreams of being a tourist until he is driven from Sri Lanka by devastating events.

'Around these two superbly drawn characters, a double narrative assembles an enthralling array of people, places and stories - from Theo, whose life plays out in the long shadow of the past, to Hana, an Ethiopian woman determined to reinvent herself in Australia.

'Award-winning author Michelle de Kretser illuminates travel, work and modern dreams in this brilliant evocation of the way we live now. Wonderfully written, Questions of Travel is an extraordinary work of imagination - a transformative, very funny and intensely moving novel.' (From the publisher's website.)

2014 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year
2014 joint winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Community Relations Commission Award With Andrew Bovell's stage adaptation of The Secret River.
2014 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2014 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Fiction
2014 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
2014 shortlisted International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2013 winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Premier's Prize
2013 winner Western Australian Premier's Book Awards Fiction
2013 winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
2013 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2013 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2013 shortlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2013 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2013 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2013 shortlisted Indie Awards Fiction
The Lost Dog 2007 single work novel mystery

'Tom Loxley is holed up in a remote bush shack trying to finish his book on Henry James when his beloved dog goes missing. What follows is a triumph of storytelling, as The Lost Dog loops back and forth in time to take the reader on a spellbinding journey into worlds far removed from the present tragedy.

'Set in present-day [2007] Australia and mid-twentieth century India, here is a haunting, layered work that brilliantly counterpoints new cityscapes and their inhabitants with the untamed, ancient continent beyond. With its atmosphere of menace and an acute sense of the unexplained in any story, it illuminates the collision of the wild and the civilised, modernity and the past, home and exile.' (Publisher's blurb)

2009 longlisted International Awards Women's Prize for Fiction (UK)
2008 shortlisted Australia-Asia Literary Award
2008 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
2008 longlisted International Awards Booker Prize (UK)
2008 winner ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2008 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Book of the Year
2008 winner New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2008 shortlisted Barbara Jefferis Award
2008 shortlisted South East Asia and South Pacific Region Best Book
Last amended 7 Mar 2018 16:02:17
Other mentions of "" in AustLit:
    X