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Sonya Hartnett Sonya Hartnett i(A4540 works by) (a.k.a. S. L. Hartnett)
Also writes as: Cameron S. Redfern
Born: Established: 1968 Box Hill, Box Hill - Burwood area, Melbourne - Inner South, Melbourne, Victoria, ;
Gender: Female
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Sonya Hartnett is widely regarded as one of Australia's outstanding literary novelists in the young adult genre, with several of her novels published in the 'cross-over' market for both adult and young adult imprints. Her first novel, Trouble All the Way, (1984) was published when she was a teenager and she continues to publish generally a novel a year. Her books have been published in Germany, Italy, Norway, Finland and Denmark, as well as in various English-language editions. Hartnett received a Bachelor of Arts (Media Studies) from RMIT Melboune in 1991. She lives in Melbourne with her dog Shilo and cats, Marcus and Morgan.

Hallmarks of Harnett's work are their cadence and smooth writing style, intense dramatic conflict, memorable characterisation, and frequent less-than-happy endings. Hartnett states that she prefers to write from a male perspective and finds music an inspiration for her writing.One of Hartnett's novels, Wilful Blue, (1994) was produced as a play and publicly performed at the Melbourne Victorian Arts Centre. The novel for which Hartnett has achieved the most critical (and controversial) acclaim was Sleeping Dogs, an Honour Book, Children's Book Council of Australia Book of the Year Award: Older Readers in 1996, as well as winner of the 1996 Victorian Premier's Literary Award Sheaffer Pen Prize and the 1996 Miles Franklin Inaugural Kathleen Mitchell Award. A book involving incest between brother and sister and often critiqued as 'without hope', Sleeping Dogs generated enormous discussion both within Australia and overseas.

Hartnett points to the writing of young adult novelist Robert Cormier as highly influential on her style. Cormier has expressed great admiration for Harnett's work. Hartnett is a frequent commentator on her own work, in particular answering her critics who decry 'bleak endings' and novels seemingly aimed at an adult, rather than a young adult audience.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Blue Flower Melbourne : Penguin , 2021 23485139 2021 single work picture book children's

'A gentle exploration of a child’s realisation that it is her individual differences and creativity that make her special, with stunning illustrations by the talented Gabriel Evans that delicately and sensitively convey the child’s emotional journey.

'A young child describes her qualms about going to school and how hard she finds asking the teacher for help, how she feels shy about making friends, not being funny or a fast runner. But through her love of art, a conversation with her mother and her observations about nature she comes to see that being different might not be a bad thing after all.

'I lay down and put my nose in the grass. The grass was dotted with yellow flowers, but blue ones grew there too. I rolled over and looked at the trees and the clouds, and thought about things for a while.

'‘Not all clouds are white,’ I said, and Piccolo looked at me.

'‘Not all trees are tall. Not all birds are brown. Not all cats are tabby like you, Piccolo. Some are black. Some are orange. Some are calico.’

'Piccolo swished his stripy tail. I plucked a flower and showed it to him. ‘This flower isn’t yellow, but it isn’t wrong. It is what it’s supposed to be. No one would want it to be yellow. Everyone would say it’s lovely just the way it is.’

'A beautifully told story about being happy in yourself for who you are from one of Australia's finest writers.' (Publication summary)

2022 shortlisted CBCA Book of the Year Awards Picture Book of the Year
2022 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Picture Book
y separately published work icon The Wild One Melbourne : Penguin Books , 2014 7450204 2014 single work picture book children's

'From acclaimed Australian children's picture-book partnership Sonya Hartnett and Lucia Masciullo comes a celebration of the wonders of childhood, the beauty of nature and the wild one who lives in us all. Here is a story about growing up that will stay with readers forever.

'Charlie met the wild one when he was young. Together they caught tadpoles, chased butterflies, and watched spiders weave their webs. But as the sun rose and fell, and the moon circle the earth, Charlie began to forget about the magic of the wild one - until it was almost too late to remember...' (Publication summary)

2015 CBCA Book of the Year Awards Notable Book Picture Book
y separately published work icon Golden Boys Melbourne : Penguin , 2014 7190850 2014 single work novel young adult

'Sonya Hartnett's third novel for adults is perfectly formed and utterly compelling, an unflinching and disquieting work from one of Australia's finest writers.

'Colt Jenson and his younger brother Bastian live in a world of shiny, new things – skateboards, slot cars, train sets and even the latest BMX. Their affluent father, Rex, has made sure that they'll be the envy of the new, working-class suburb they've moved to. But underneath the surface of the perfect family, is there something unsettling about the Jensons? To the local kids, Rex becomes a kind of hero, but Colt senses there's something in his father that could destroy their fragile new lives.' (Publication summary)

2015 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Fiction
2016 longlisted International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2015 shortlisted New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
2015 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Literary Fiction Book of the Year
2015 longlisted ASAL Awards ALS Gold Medal
2015 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2015 longlisted The Stella Prize
2015 winner Indie Awards Fiction
2015 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards Prize for Fiction
Last amended 23 Feb 2015 09:53:45
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