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The Australian Literature Resource
Sample only - snapshot taken 31 July 2009
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By permission of the NLA
(a.k.a. Lewis, Isabelle )
Born: 17 Jun 1954 Footscray, Victoria
Gender: Female

The daughter of a wharf worker, Kerry Greenwood has worked in a variety of occupations, including folk singer, factory hand, director, translator, costumer-maker, and cook. A qualified solicitor, she graduated from Melbourne University with degrees in English and Law, and works part time for Legal Aid in Victoria.

Greenwood wrote her first novel at the age of sixteen and is the author of a series of twelve crime fiction novels set in Melbourne in the 1920s. The protagonist in this popular series is detective Phryne Fisher, a character the author has described as a female James Bond, who is "without guilt, with boundless self-esteem".

Greenwood writes in a number of literary genres. In addition to her crime fiction, she has written drama, historical novels, science fiction and short stories. Her work as an advocate in the Magistrate's Courts and previous experience working with abused women provide a background for her non-fiction books about crime and the law. These include a collection of essays about true crime, and an exploration of the motivations and personal circumstances of women who murder.

  • Ned Kelly Awards for Crime Writing, Lifetime Contribution, 2003


Last amended: 1 Sep 2003