I was raised in the country in northwestern NSW and, at age 4, lost most of my hearing from bacterial meningitis. Being a determined little girl, I made my way from a tiny school of 100 pupils to publishing my first novel at age 29, before graduating with a PhD from the University of London.
My first novel, A Curious Intimacy, was published by Penguin in 2007, and won a Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelist award. It was shortlisted for the Western Australia Premier's award and the Dobbie award for a first book by a woman writer, and longlisted for the international IMPAC award. My second novel, Entitlement, was published by Penguin in September 2012.
I am the recipient of funding from Arts Queensland and the Australia Council for the Arts, and I have been selected for residences in Tasmania and the Australia Council's BR Whiting Studio in Rome. My short fiction, poetry and essays have appeared in literary journals including Review of Australian Fiction, Overland, Island, Griffith Review and Southerly.
As a deaf author and scholar, I have written extensively on deafness and disability. My essays have appeared in journals such as New Scholar, while my creative responses have shaped stories such as 'Unearthed' and 'When the World Shivered.' My third novel, currently in-progress, has been funded by an Artists with Disability grant from the Australia Council for the Arts. I am a contributing editor to the Australian Women Writers Challenge in the area of diversity, and I have delivered keynote presentations on deafness at major conferences such as that hosted by the National Association of Australian Teachers of the Deaf. I am available for school talks on disability and deafness, and can be reached via the Contact page.
My hybrid memoir, Hearing Maud, which details the entwinement of my life with that of Maud Praed, the deaf daughter of 19th Century Queensland novelist Rosa Praed, is now available.
I am currently a lecturer and researcher at The University of Queensland, where I am writing an ecobiography of 19th Century botanist Georgiana Molloy and the environment of south-west Western Australia.