AustLit logo
person or book cover
Courtesy of Paddy O'Reilly.
Paddy O'Reilly Paddy O'Reilly i(A3183 works by) (a.k.a. Patricia O'Reilly; P. A. O'Reilly)
Born: Established: 1959 Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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.


Paddy O'Reilly was born in Melbourne. She travelled extensively in her early twenties and returned to study literature and Japanese at Deakin and Swinburne Universities in the late 1980s.

After graduating, she spent several years in Japan as a copywriter and translator. In 1992 she translated the Japanese play Itojigoku (Woven Hell) by Rio Kishida, which was performed at the Adelaide and Perth Arts Festivals, and in 1997 she was the Asialink Australia Council writer-in-residence in Japan. Research from that trip was used in her first novel, The Factory.

She has won a number of short story awards and her stories have been anthologised widely, including in five issues of Best Australian Stories.

She published a short story collection, The End of the World, and a novella, The Deep End in 2007. Her second novel, The Fine Colour of Rust, was published in 2012 and her third novel, The Wonders, in 2014. In 2015 and 2016, she released collections of short stories, It Happened in a Holden and It Happened Off the Leash.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

2016 recipient Creative Industries Career Fund to complete her novel The White Line, a story of survival at the bottom of the so-called ‘trickle down effect’.
2012 Literature Board Grants Grants for Developing Writers $40,000 for fiction.
2012 recipient Creative Industries Career Fund to read her work at the International Conference on the Short Story in English to be held in June 2012 in Arkansas, USA. Support from the Creative Industries Career Fund will help her get there.

Awards for Works

The Wonders 2014 single work novel

'What sets them apart is the radical, experimental and sometimes faulty medical treatments they've all undergone. Leon has a hole punched through his chest and a small mechanical heart visible to all; Kathryn has been cured of a rare genetic disorder but the treatment left her covered in curly black wool; and performance artist Christos has metal wings implanted into his back.

'When 'The Wonders' are brought together by a canny entrepreneur, their glamorous, genre-defying, twenty first-century freak show becomes a global sensation. But what makes them objects of fascination also places them in danger. A wonderfully inventive novel that challenges our ideas about celebrity, disability and the value of life from one of Australia's finest authors at the peak of her powers.' (Publication summary)

2015 winner Norma K. Hemming Award
The Fine Colour of Rust 2012 single work novel 'Single mother Loretta Boskovic may have fantasies about dumping her two kids in the orphanage and riding off on a Harley with her dream lover, but her reality is life in a dusty country town called Gunapan. A self-dubbed 'old scrag', Loretta's got a big heart and a strong sense of injustice. So, when Gunapan's primary school is threatened with closure, and there's a whiff of corruption wafting through the corridors of the local council, she stirs into action. She's short of money, influence and a fully functioning car, but she does have loyal friends who'll do whatever it takes to hold on to the scrap of world that is home' (Publisher blurb).
2013 shortlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
Last amended 2 Jul 2018 13:48:51
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: