Born in 1944 in Sydney, Blanche D'Alpuget is a biographer, novelist and scriptwriter. She worked as a journalist in Australia and the UK before going to live for several years in Indonesia and Malaysia where she continued to write for various newspapers and journals. Her experiences there led to her writing fiction, and her first novel, Monkeys in the Dark (1980), featuring a young journalist and her reactions to the problems of living in Indonesia, received much critical acclaim.
In 1979, D'Alpuget won a senior fellowship from the Literature Board to work on her second novel, Turtle Beach (1981), which received attention when produced as a film in 1992, and when it was later banned in Indonesia. Set in Malaysia, the novel won several awards including the South Australian Government's Bicentennial Book of the Year Award, and the Age Book of the Year Award.
D'Alpuget's works include her first book, Mediator, a biography of Sir Richard Kirby (1977) which arose from the interest she shared with Kirby in Indonesian affairs. Perhaps her best known work, Robert J. Hawke : a Biography (1982), received several awards and established her as one of Australia's leading writers. This biography was followed by Winter in Jerusalem (1986), The Workers (1987) and White Eye (1993), a thriller set in Sydney and the bush. She has been the recipient of many awards for fiction and non-fiction.
In the early 1990s D'Alpuget worked as a goodwill ambassador assessing refugee issues for Austcare which involved spending time in Vietnam and Thailand. In 1993 she visited Croatia and subsequently helped to raise support for Bosnian women severely affected by the war.
During the 1990s, D'Alpuget studied for several years to become a priest of the Independent Church of Australia, a breakaway group of the Church of England formed in 1969.
Blanche D'Alpuget married former Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke in 1995.