Kate Grenville Biography
(1950– ), Bearded Ladies, Lillian's Story, Dreamhouse, Joan Makes History, Writing Book, Dark Places
Australian writer, born in Sydney, educated at Sydney University and the University of Colorado. She travelled in Europe and the USA for several years and has worked as a teacher, journalist, and film editor. Her first collection of stories, Bearded Ladies (1984), displayed her command of a variety of styles from black comedy to symbolism. Lillian's Story (1985) is a novel whose central character was based on a well- known Sydney street personality; the protagonist, oppressed by her father, takes refuge in food, only to court social and sexual ostracism, but she manages to survive despite her traumatic experiences. Dreamhouse (1986) is a psychosexual thriller set in Tuscany, describing a woman trapped in an unsatisfactory marriage and her eventual escape. The author's feminist convictions are also apparent in Joan Makes History (1988), which in comic mode argues that history has ignored women; the story of a modern Joan is linked to a series of other ordinary women, all named Joan, from earlier periods of history. Writing Book appeared in 1990. Her novel Dark Places (1994) is narrated by a misogynist who rapes the daughter who first appeared in Lillian's Story.