“I think with all my books, language has been their subject as much as anything else. Language can elide or displace or sideline whole groups of people. You can't necessarily change the way language is used, but if it becomes something you're conscious of... that gives you a certain power over it.” – Kate Grenville
Born on this date in 1950, Kate Grenville is an Australian writer and author of15 books – including fiction, non-fiction, biography and books about the writing process. Winner of both the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and Britain’s prestigious Orange Prize, she has had her works published worldwide. Grenville’s writing career started in film before she wrote a collection of highly regarded short stories in the early 1980s. Her 1985 novel Lilian’s Story established her reputation as one of Australia’s best fiction writers. The multiple award-winning book also was made into a successful movie in 1996.
In the 2000s, Grenville has explored Australia’s colonial past and relationships among its peoples in her acclaimed books The Secret River, The Lieutenant and Sarah Thornhill. A teacher of writing, too, Grenville has written or co-written several widely used books about the writing process.
“I read a lot of poetry, and I love what it does with language,” Grenville said. “I love music, too, and I think there's probably no coincidence there, that the rhythm of the words is almost as important as the words themselves, and when you can get the two working together, which usually takes me about 20 goes, I feel a huge satisfaction.”
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