Catherine McKinnon

Catherine McKinnon

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With a background in film and theatre, Catherine has written, directed and developed many new Australian plays. Originally from Adelaide, where she worked for the Red Shed Theatre Company and the State Theatre Company of South Australia, she moved to Sydney to complete a Masters in Creative Writing at the University of Technology Sydney. She’s currently a senior lecturer in performance and creative writing at the University of Wollongong.

In 2006 Catherine won the Penguin/Australian Women’s Weekly prize for short-story writing for Haley and the Sea. Her first novel in 2008, The Nearly Happy Family, is about a dysfunctional family whose matriarch is trying to turn her family dramas into sketch comedy.

McKinnon’s recent work Storyland is a remarkable novel about who we are: our past, present and future, and our connection to this land. In 1796, a young cabin boy goes on a voyage of discovery with Matthew Flinders and Mr Bass—two men and a boy in a tiny boat on an exploratory journey south from Sydney Cove to the Illawarra. Spanning four centuries, in essence, Storyland tells the story of Australia. Catherine took her time writing the book, putting her manuscript away for months at a time, going back and forth to edit over several years.

“Storyland is a worthy contender for the Great Australian Novel – encompassing, ambitious” Readings.
Storyland by Catherine McKinnon

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