Brisbane-based author Mary-Rose MacColl graduated with a degree in journalism from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and was the University of Queensland's first graduate in the Master of Arts in Creative Writing. She has since published three novels, No Safe Place(1996), Angels in the Architecture(1999), and Killing Superman (2003); the unpublished manuscript of the contemporary thriller No Safe Place was runner-up in the 1995 Australian/Vogel Literary Award.
MacColl worked as a cadet journalist and an assistant nurse before moving into higher education as an administrator and corporate writer. Having turned to writing fiction full-time, she has also taught creative writing, feature journalism and publishing, and chaired the 1998 Brisbane Writer's Festival.
The Birth Wars (2009) was shortlisted for the 2010 Queensland Premier's Literary Awards, Best Non-Fiction Book.
'In London in the mid-1920s, a young Australian and her aunt are each on a journey of self-discovery - one by attempting to swim the English Channel the other to rediscover the woman she used to be. From the bestselling author of In Falling Snow.
'The lone swimmer, turning over now to switch to a perfectly executed back crawl, wasn't Oxford or Cambridge, wasn't a man. It was a woman, a girl. It was Catherine. Of course it was Catherine.
'It's 1925 and fifteen-year-old Catherine Quick longs to feel once more the warm waters of her home, to strike out into the ocean off the Torres Strait Islands and swim, as she's done since she was a tiny child. But now, with her recent move to London where she lives with her aunt Louisa, Catherine feels that everything she values has been stripped away.
'Louisa, a busy, confident London surgeon who fought boldly for equality for women, holds definite views on the behaviour of her young niece. She wants Catherine to pursue an education, just as she did, to ensure her future freedom. Since Catherine arrived, however, Louisa's every step seems to be wrong and she is finding it harder and harder to block painful memories from her past.
'It takes the influence of enigmatic American banker Manfred Lear Black to convince Louisa to come to New York where Catherine can test her mettle against the first women in the world to swim the English Channel. And where, unexpectedly, Louisa can finally listen to what her own heart tells her.
Like Mary-Rose MacColl's bestselling novel, In Falling Snow, Swimming Home tells a story of ordinary women who became extraordinary.' (Publication summary)
Killing Superman2003single work novel mystery Now in his thirties, Scott Goodwin has spent half his life chasing a shadow superman, believing his apparently dead father is alive somewhere. He meets journalist Emily Duval who might help him, but she has shadows of her own. When Scott sees his father on a beach in France, he must confront the truth.
Angels in the Architecture1999single work novel crime In a secret chamber uncovered by a fire that nearly destroys the nineteenth-century chapel at Archangels University, architect Harriet Darling finds a skull. The police have a body and murderer in mind, and on campus, rumours are rife. But a blue rosary and a Black Madonna take Harriet back, to a girl's school, a powerful nun, and a time of innocence lost and found.