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Emma Tom Emma Tom i(A26701 works by) (birth name: Emma Jane Tom)
Also writes as: Emma Jane
Born: Established: 1969 Fairfield, Fairfield area, Sydney Southwest, Sydney, New South Wales, ;
Gender: Female
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Emma Tom grew up in Sydney and the northern New South Wales town of Lismore. After finishing high school, she worked as a cadet reporter for a Lismore newspaper, then moved to Sydney to work for the Sydney Morning Herald. After eight years at the Sydney Morning Herald she became a regular columnist for the Australian. Tom's columns focus on women's issues, particularly sexual issues, with language that tests the limits of a broadsheet's tolerance. This has led to criticism from other journalists, but, nevertheless, her journalism has attracted several awards. She has also appeared on several television shows.

Tom's first novel Deadset (1997) won the Best First Book Award section of the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Asia and the South Pacific. Essentially a crime story, it is narrated by a dead schoolgirl who explores her past and the reasons for her death while contemplating her attitudes to sex and death. Many of Tom's columns for the Sydney Morning Herald were collected in Babewatch (1998), restoring much material that was considered inappropriate for the newspaper.

In 2010 Emma Tom changed her name to Emma Jane. Writing in 'The Name Game' (The Australian 2 October 2010) she says: 'I have changed mine recently. My surname switch from Tom to Jane was a decision made first and foremost for personal reasons. I have changed mine recently. My surname switch from Tom to Jane was a decision made first and foremost for personal reasons'.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1997 Literature Board Grants Grants for Developing Writers To write a novel about an incident in a country town.

Awards for Works

Evidence 2002 single work novel humour

The rites of passage of two generations are enmeshed in this savagely black chronicle set in the grimy heat of small-town Tantanoula. Herald-Sun (10 August 2002).

In this story a teenage boy is set alight and burnt to death and his 14-year-old neighbour, Cheryl Jane Kiss, is determined to find out who killed him - just as soon as she stops binge-eating her way through the kitchen cupboard. The town they live in is Tantanoula and nothing is quite as it seems in this joint. Cheryl's mother has a few secrets of her own, if she ever sobers up long enough to remember them. Her stepfather, Jackson, meanwhile likes to leave dirty magazines under her mattress. The book deals with issues including depression, teen suicide, alcoholism and eating disorders, so when it's described as a black comedy, the word "black" is used advisedly. Brisbane News, (28 August 2002).

2003 nominated Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
Deadset 1997 single work novel
1998 joint runner-up Kathleen Mitchell Literary Award With Tegan Bennett, 'Bombora' and Ben Winch, 'My Boyfriend's Father'.
1998 winner International Awards Commonwealth Writers Prize South-East Asia and South Pacific Region Best First Book Award
1997 joint winner The Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist of the Year
1997 shortlisted Aurealis Awards for Excellence in Australian Speculative Fiction Horror Division Best Novel
Last amended 29 Nov 2011 10:10:27
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