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Tegan Bennett Daylight Tegan Bennett Daylight i(A2008 works by) (a.k.a. Tegan Bennett)
Also writes as: Tegan Thomas
Born: Established: 1969 Coogee, Randwick area, Sydney Eastern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Born into an artistic family, Bennett attended Hunters Hill High School and gained an arts and communications degree at University of Technology, Sydney, in 1991. While studying for her degree, she started writing professionally for the Dolly series for teenagers. Bennett later completed an MA in creative writing at the University of Sydney. She worked in a book shop and as a freelance writer, and conducted occasional writers' workshops. Bennett has lived in the Blue Mountains and taught at University of Technology, Sydney. She is the author of a children's reader, Ghosts and Other Scary Critters (1995).

Most Referenced Works


  • Following her marriage to Russell Dow-Sainter (ca.2001), Bennett and Dow-Sainter decided to adopt a joint married name. That name is 'Daylight'.

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Details The Details : Love, Death and Reading Cammeray : Simon and Schuster Australia , 2020 19152638 2020 single work autobiography

'A long and intimate relationship with reading has taught acclaimed writer Tegan Bennett Daylight that - in life as in books - the delight is in the details.

'Tegan Bennett Daylight has led a life in books – as a writer, a teacher and a critic, but first and foremost as a reader. Reading has been her inspiration and solace, her recreation and profession, her poison and her medicine.

'In this deeply intimate and insightful work, Daylight describes how her rich storehouse of reading has nourished her life, and how her life informs her reading. In both, she shows us that it’s the small points of connection – the details - that really matter: what we see when someone close to us dies, when we give birth, when we fall in love, when we make friends. The details are what we can share and compare and carry with us.

'Daylight writes with invigorating candour and compassion about her mother’s last days; her own experiences of childbearing and its aftermath (in her celebrated essay ‘Vagina’); her long admiration of Helen Garner and George Saunders; and her great loves and friendships. Each chapter is a revelation, and a celebration of how books offer not an escape from ‘real life’ but a richer engagement with the business of living.

'The result is a work that will truly deepen your relationship with books, and with other readers. The delight is in the details.'

Source: publisher's blurb

2021 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Non-Fiction
y separately published work icon Six Bedrooms North Sydney : Random House Australia , 2015 8522233 2015 selected work short story

'Six Bedrooms is about growing up; about discovering sex; and about coming of age. Full of glorious angst, embarrassment and small achievements.

'Hot afternoons on school ovals, the terrifying promise of losing your virginity, sneaking booze from your mother's pantry, the painful sophistication and squalor of your first share house, cancer, losing a parent.

'Tegan Bennett Daylight's powerful collection captures the dangerous, tilting terrain of becoming adult. Over these ten stories, we find acute portrayals of loss and risk, of sexual longing and wreckage, blunders and betrayals. Threaded through the collection is the experience of troubled, destructive Tasha, whose life unravels in unexpected ways, and who we come to love for her defiance, her wit and her vulnerability.

'Stunningly written, and shot through with humour and menace, Six Bedrooms is a mesmerising collection of moments from adolescence through adulthood, a mix of all the potent ingredients that make up a life.' (Publication summary)

highly commended Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction
2016 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2016 longlisted Kibble Literary Awards Nita Kibble Literary Award
2016 longlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2016 shortlisted The Stella Prize
2016 highly commended Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction
2015 longlisted Colin Roderick Award
2016 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Australian Short Story Collection - Steele Rudd Award
y separately published work icon What Falls Away St Leonards : Allen and Unwin , 2001 Z795249 2001 single work novel

''Each day one of them, both of them, added something more to the silence. Carefully, slowly, patiently, they were building a great structure out of it, an intricate structure. Mary participated in the work but wondered, sometimes, if they would have the skill and the tools to dismantle it. It was beginning to block doorways in their own house, to climb up towards the windows, to reach into the garden.'

'Mary doesn't quite know what's changed since the birth of her first child, but she and Sean don't talk any more. While Sean simply shuts down, hoping things will fix themselves, Mary turns to Juliet, her best friend, for comfort.

'What Falls Away is an astutely observed, intricately fascinating exploration of the ways in which-sometimes without even noticing-we let silence take over our lives.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2002 joint winner The Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist of the Year
Last amended 20 Jan 2020 10:56:47
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