Kate Grenville was born in Sydney and holds degrees from Sydney University and the University of Colorado. In 1984 her first book, a collection of stories – Bearded Ladies – was published. Her works of fiction have been published to acclaim in Australia and overseas and have won state and national awards and her books about the writing process are used in many writing courses in schools and universities. Much-loved novels such as Lilian’s Story (1985), Dark Places (1995) and Joan Makes History (1988) have become classics, admired by critics and general readers alike. The Secret River (2005), published in more than twenty countries, was awarded the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, and was shortlisted for both the Miles Franklin Literary Award and the Man Booker Prize. The Lieutenant was shortlisted for the New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australian Premiers’ Awards.The Idea of Perfection (2000) won the Orange Prize.