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Colleen McCullough Colleen McCullough i(A29259 works by) (a.k.a. Colleen McCullough Robinson; Colleen Margaretta McCullough)
Born: Established: 1 Jun 1937 Wellington, Wellington area, Wellington - Dubbo - Narromine area, Central West NSW, New South Wales, ; Died: Ceased: 29 Jan 2015 Norfolk Island, Australian External Territories,
Gender: Female
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Colleen McCullough was born at Wellington, New South Wales, and was educated at the University of Sydney. After working as a school-teacher, library assistant and journalist, she trained and worked as a neurophysiologist in Sydney, England and the United States of America between 1967 and 1976. In 1974 she published her first novel, Tim, attracting some commercial success and receiving further exposure when it was adapted to film. But with her second novel, The Thorn Birds (1977), she became an international success and saw her novel produced as a highly popular television series in 1983. In the 1990s, she wrote a series of six novels set in ancient Rome before returning to an Australian setting with Morgan's Run (2000). McCullough also wrote a cookbook Cooking with Colleen McCullough and Jean Easthope (Harper & Row, 1982) and a biography, Roden, V.C. (Random House, 1998).

McCullough's romances have been extremely popular, but they have attracted limited critical approval. Nevertheless, she won the Italian Premio Scanno for The Song of Troy (1998); and in 1993 she was awarded an honorary doctorate from Macquarie University for the meticulous research she conducted for her Roman novels.

Colleen McCullough resided on Norfolk Island from 1980. She was patron and board member of various scientific and medical organisations in Australia and overseas. In 1993 she learned she was suffering from a degenerative eye disease. This did not stop her writing and she continued to publish.

Most Referenced Works


  • Voted number 23 in the Booktopia Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors for 2018

Personal Awards

2006 Order of Australia Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) General Division For service to the arts as an author and to the community through roles supporting national and international educational programs, medico-scientific disciplines and charitable organisations and causes.
1997 Australian National Living Treasure

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon The Prodigal Son Sydney : HarperCollins Australia , 2012 Z1846486 2012 single work novel crime

'Holloman, Connecticut, 1969. A very rare and lethal toxin, extracted from the blowfish, is stolen from a laboratory at Chubb University. It kills within minutes and leaves no trace behind -- unless a doctor knows what to look for -- and worried biochemist Dr. Millie Hunter reports the theft at once to her father, Medical Examiner Dr. Patrick O′Donnell.

'Patrick′s cousin Captain Carmine Delmonico is therefore quick off the mark when the bodies start to mount up. A sudden death at a dinner party followed by another at a gala black-tie event seem at first to be linked only by the poison and Dr. Jim Hunter, a scientist on the brink of greatness and husband to Millie. A black man married to a white woman, Dr. Jim has faced scandal and prejudice for most of his life, so what would cause him to risk it all now? Is he being framed for murder -- and if so, by whom?

'Carmine and his team of detectives must navigate the competitive world of academic publishing, fraught with politics and prestige. The stakes are high: an amazing art collection, a large inheritance, old and upstanding local families, a gold-digging wife, jealous relatives and a young couple′s future.' (From the publisher's website.)

2013 longlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
y separately published work icon Naked Cruelty Pymble : HarperCollins Australia , 2010 Z1733509 2010 single work novel crime thriller

'America in 1968 is in turmoil and the leafy Holloman suburb of Carew is being silently terrorised by a series of vicious and systematic rapes. When finally one victim finds the courage to speak out and go to the police, the rapist escalates to murder.

'For Captain Carmine Delmonico, it seems to be a case with no clues. And it comes as the Holloman Police Department is troubled: a lieutenant is out of his depth, a sergeant is out of control, and into this mix comes the beautiful, ruthlessly ambitious new trainee, Helen MacIntosh, daughter of the influential president of Chubb University.

'As the killer makes his plans, Carmine and his team must use every resource at their disposal - including a team of highly motivated neighbourhood watch, the Gentlemen Walkers...' (From the publisher's website.)

2011 nominated Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing Best Novel
y separately published work icon Too Many Murders : A Carmine Delmonico Novel Pymble : HarperCollins Australia , 2009 Z1652943 2009 single work novel crime thriller

'The year is 1967 and the world teeters on the brink of nuclear holocaust as the Cold War goes relentlessly on. On a beautiful spring day in the little city of Holloman, Connecticut, home to prestigious Chubb University and armaments giant Cornucopia, chief of detectives Captain Carmine Delmonico has more pressing concerns than finding a name for his infant son: twelve murders have taken place in one day, and Delmonico is drawn into a gruesome web of secrets and lies.

'Supported by his detective sergeants Abe Goldberg and Corey Marshall, and new team member the meticulous Delia Carstairs, Delmonico embarks on what looks like an unsolvable mystery. All the murders are different, and they all seem unconnected. Are they dealing with one killer, or many? How is the murder of Dee-Dee Hall, a local prostitute, related to the deaths of a mother and her disabled child? How is Chubb student Evan Pugh connected to Desmond Skeps, head of Cornucopia? And as if twelve murders were not enough, Carmine soon finds himself pitted against the mysterious Ulysses, a spy giving Cornucopia′s armaments secrets to the Russians. Are the murders and espionage different cases, or are they somehow linked?

'As the overtaxed police force contends with small town politics, academic rivalry, and corporate greed, the death toll mounts, and Carmine and his team discover that the answers are not what they seem -- but then, are they ever?'  Source: (Sighted 17/03/2010).

2010 shortlisted Davitt Award Best Adult Crime Novel
Last amended 1 Feb 2018 12:16:36
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