Photo courtesy of UQP.
Thea Astley Thea Astley i(A13608 works by) (a.k.a. Thea Beatrice May Astley; Thea Gregson)
Born: Established: 25 Aug 1925 Brisbane, Queensland, ; Died: Ceased: 17 Aug 2004 Byron Bay, Byron Bay - Broken Head area, Far North Coast, New South Wales,
Gender: Female
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Thea Astley was born in Brisbane and educated at the University of Queensland. She taught in schools until 1967, then Macquarie University between 1968-80. Her novels have attracted wide praise and a number of awards, including four Miles Franklin Awards. In 1989 she won the Patrick White Award and was granted an honorary doctorate from the University of Queensland. She was made AO in 1992 and was made a Creative Fellow of the Australia Council in 1993.

Astley's fiction shows a particular interest in Queensland history and locales, and frequently explores the role of Catholicism in everyday life. The bleak action of her novels often destabilises Australian myths that circulate around the idea of a homogenous male identity. Her works expose injustice and cruelty in Australian life, especially towards Indigenous people, women and the elderly. They amount to a plea for compassion, and for awareness of the needs and suffering of those who are forgotten, marginalised or powerless.



Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

Awards for Works

Drylands : A Book for the World's Last Reader 1999 single work novel In her flat above Drylands' newsagency, Janet Deakin is writing a book for the world's last reader. Little has changed her in 50 years, except for the coming of cable TV. Loneliness is almost a religion, and still everyone knows your business. But the town is being outmanoeuvered by drought and begins to empty, pouring itself out like water into sand. Small minds shrink even smaller in the vastness of the land. One man is forced out by council rates and bigotry; another sells his property, risking the lot to build his dream. And all of them are shadowed by violence of some sort - these people whose only victory over the town is in leaving it. - Summary from Trove.
2000 winner Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
2000 joint winner Miles Franklin Literary Award
Reaching Tin River 1990 single work novel

'Belle's mother was a drummer in an all-women's group before she turned vegetarian and went to live in a shack in the hills. Her father was a trumpeter Belle met for the first time in a Manhattan jazz bar. She had a husband, too, briefly - an upwardly mobile deputy librarian searching for the perfect sauce.Belle even had a best friend once, whose ebullience was finally subdued in vermouth and leather sofas.Their selves were their centres, and Belle realized she'd have to research much further to find her own ...' (Publication summary)

2010 shortlisted Australian Book Review Fan Poll
1990 winner New South Wales State Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction
Last amended 29 Oct 2015 10:57:36
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