We are proud to announce our Kimberley Writers Festival guest artists for 2019
Businesswoman and Memoirist
Within minutes of landing in Kununurra, Frauke Bolten-Boshammer had made up her mind to get on a plane back home to Germany. It was 1981 and the dusty frontier town was no place for a woman. However, Frauke stayed, determined to help her husband carve out a new life farming. Tragedy struck just three years later when Friedrich took his own life and she was left to raise their family alone. A Diamond in the Dust is Frauke’s powerful true story of how one woman turned outback dust into a diamond empire. It is a tale of love and loss, hardship and heartache, but ultimately the inspiring story of how a naive young girl from Germany overcame tragedy to pioneer a diamond empire in one of the most unforgiving terrains on earth.
Raewyn Caisley was born in South Auckland. Her English mother wanted Raewyn and her sisters to ‘speak like the Queen’. A little unhelpful given that South Auckland was a largely Maori population. She grew up admiring Maori culture, the Maori focus on whanau (extended family) and their connection to the land. She moved to Australia with her husband in the early 80s. Living first at the glorious beaches of Cronulla she of course wrote about a girl who wanted to be a mermaid – an early career path that still has appeal. Raewyn is a prolific author of books for children and her most recent title is the picture book Something Wonderful, published by Penguin/RandomHouse.
Chris Gurney is a photographer from Perth, Western Australia, whose work revolves around stories of people, places and subcultures. He has photographed for leading companies and publishers while also developing visual identities for books and websites. Chris is interested in the entire process of visual storytelling, from conceptualisation through production to publication. Chris currently lives and works in Perth, and frequently travels while on assignment.
Crime Writer, Journalist
Chris Hammer is the author of crime novel Scrublands, an instant bestseller when it was published mid-way through 2018. Scrublands was shortlisted for the ABIA, Indies and NSW Premier’s award and was recently longlisted for the UK Crime Writers’ Association New Blood Dagger Award for debut books. Before turning to fiction, Chris was a journalist for more than thirty years, dividing his career between covering Australian federal politics and international affairs.
Fiction and Non-Fiction Writer
Steve Hawke grew up in Melbourne but found his way to the Northern Territory and then to the Kimberley as a nineteen-year-old in 1978. Captivated by the country, the history and the people, he stayed for almost fifteen years working for Aboriginal communities and organisations. He now lives in the hills outside Perth, but continues his strong association with the Kimberley, returning most years.
His first novel for adults, The Valley, published in 2018, is set in the Kimberley, as is much of his other work, including Noonkanbah: Whose Land, Whose Law (1989), the children’s novel Barefoot Kids (2007), the play Jandamarra that premiered at the Perth International Arts Festival in 2008 and toured the Kimberley in 2011, and A Town Is Born: The Fitzroy Crossing Story (2013). Out Of Time is his second adult novel.
Children's Writer and Poet
Meg McKinlay is a children’s writer and poet whose work ranges from picture books through to young adult fiction. Her publications include the Prime Minister’s Literary Award-winning A Single Stone, and her most recent titles are the middle-grade novel Catch A Falling Star and picture book Let Me Sleep, Sheep!, both published in 2019. Raised in a TV-free household, Meg was a bookish kid, in love with words and excited by dictionaries. These days she lives near the ocean in Fremantle, where she is always busy cooking up more books.
Fiction Writer and Translator
Tiffany Tsao is an award-winning writer and translator. She is the author of the novel Under Your Wings (forthcoming in North America as The Majesties) and the Oddfits fantasy series. Her translations (from Indonesian to English) include Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s poetry collection Sergius Seeks Bacchus, Dee Lestari’s novel Paper Boats, and Laksmi Pamuntjak’s The Birdwoman’s Palate. She received her Ph.D. in English literature from UC-Berkeley and now lives in Sydney, Australia with her spouse and two children.