Heather Rose is the award-winning author of eight novels and is one of Australia’s most diverse writers. Her work spans literary fiction, magical realism, crime fiction, political fiction and fantasy. Her novels have won numerous prizes including the Stella Prize, the Christina Stead Prize, the Margaret Scott Prize and the ABIA General Fiction Book of the Year. Her work has been published internationally and translated into numerous languages. Heather is a passionate teacher of writing and a mentor for developing novelists. She is also one half of the children’s author Angelica Banks. Heather lives by the sea in Tasmania.
See also Wikipedia.
Bruny – Allen & Unwin, 2019
The Museum of Modern Love – Allen & Unwin, 2016,
The River Wife – Allen & Unwin, 2009
The Butterfly Man – University Queensland Press, 2005
White Heart – Transworld, 1999
And as Angelica Banks with Danielle Wood for younger readers:
Finding Serendipity – Allen & Unwin 2013
A Week Without Tuesday – Allen & Unwin 2015
Blueberry Pancakes Forever – Allen & Unwin 2016.
A LITTLE MORE DETAIL
Heather’s latest novel is the bestselling, genre-bending Bruny. It won the 2020 General Fiction Book of the Year in the Australian Book Industry Awards. Bruny has been described as ‘a prescient novel about the new world order and how far a government might go to achieve its aims. Thriller, mystery, family saga and love story, Bruny is the novel of now. Set in Tasmania, a UN conflict resolution specialist, Astrid Coleman, comes home to help her twin brother, John Coleman, the Premier of Tasmania, settle down the Tasmanian community after a large infrastructure project is bombed. But this is no simple task. Their sister, Maxine, is the Leader of the Opposition, their parents are fragile and there is an election coming. Only on Bruny does the world seem sane, until Astrid discovers the truth. Funny, fast-paced and a cautionary tale for all Australians, Bruny is a must read.’ (Allen and Unwin)
Heather’s seventh novel is the best-selling, internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning The Museum of Modern Love. The Museum of Modern Love was launched in the US at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. The first novel to have such an honour. The film of MoMA launch is here. Enjoy!
Inspired by the life and work of the artist Marina Abramovic who appears (with permission) as a character in the book, The Museum of Modern Love won The Stella Prize in 2017 for the best book (either fiction or non-fiction) written by an Australian woman. It has been translated into numerous languages across the world.
The Museum of Modern Love also won the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the New South Wales Premier’s Prizes. Heather is the first Tasmanian to win the award since Helen Hodgman in 1989 for her book Broken Words. Other winners include Helen Garner, Peter Carey, David Malouf and Michelle De Kretser.
It also won the 2017 Margaret Scott Prize in the Tasmanian Premier’s Prizes for the best book by a Tasmanian author and the People’s Choice Award. It was shortlisted for the Australian Literary Society medal and the Queensland Premier’s Prizes and long-listed for the International Dublin Literary Award in 2018.
Heather’s first novel White Heart was published in 1999. It was followed by The Butterfly Man in 2005 – a story based on the disappearance of Lord Lucan in 1974. It was long-listed for the IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Award and won the 2006 Davitt Award for the Crime Fiction Novel of the Year written by an Australian woman.
In 2007 Heather received the Eleanor Dark Fellowship for a manuscript titled The River Wife. This took her to Varuna, The Writer’s House in the Blue Mountains, and to Scotland as a guest of the Edinburgh City of Literature. She was also the recipient of an Arts Tasmania Wilderness Residency. The River Wife was published in 2009.
In 2010 Heather began collaborating with award-winning author Danielle Wood and the Tuesday McGillycuddy series for primary age readers was born. The series is Finding Serendipity, A Week Without Tuesday and Blueberry Pancakes Forever. In 2015 and 2016 the novels were shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards for Best Children’s Fiction. They are published in Australia, Germany and the United States.
Heather’s work has appeared in journals and anthologies including Art and Australia, Dumbo Feather, Meanjin and Island magazine.
Heather has also had a significant career in business. She is a Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year and the recipient of two national Creative Partnerships awards for her substantial contribution to the arts. She has won over 25 national and international awards for advertising and marketing.
Heather is the mother of three wonderful people – Alex, Byron and Belle. One is in Silicon Valley, one is making films in Sydney, and one is having a wild time in Europe. Heather’s love of parenting lead to her collaboration with award winning author Danielle Wood on a children’s fantasy series that has been published internationally.
Heather undertakes various forms of teaching about writing, creativity and imagination for students of all ages – from primary school to university and beyond. Heather also offers private classes in The Basics of Novel Writing Courses and mentors talented writers with novels in development.
For more about our Tuesday McGillycuddy series for younger readers please visit Tuesday’s website
Heather is represented in Australia by Gaby Naher, Left Bank Literary.
Author picture by Peter Mathew.
SEE MORE ABOUT HEATHER...
Heather was first published at 16 in the Hobart Mercury when she won the Junior Division of the Tasmanian Short Story competition. At 17 she had a weekly sailing column. Through year 12 and beyond, Heather undertook various jobs including being a barmaid, waiting tables, delivering windsurfers, picking carnations, gardening and working at Social Security.
At nineteen Heather left Tasmania and spent several years travelling through Asia and Europe where she worked variously as a goatherd, youth hostel manager, silver service waitress, kitchen hand, olive and grape picker and companion. She returned to Australia and settled in Melbourne becoming an advertising Copywriter. By age twenty-eight she was a Creative Group Head of Australia’s second largest advertising agency, Mattingly & Partners, creating major national campaigns for some of Australia’s best-known brands.
In 1996 Heather returned to Tasmania with her family and began her first novel, White Heart. White Heart was published in 1999 by Transworld under the Anchor imprint. It received generous reviews and instantly became a Tasmanian bestseller.
In 2004 Heather completed The Butterfly Man about the disappearance of Lord Lucan from England in 1974. It was published in November 2005 by University of Queensland Press. The Butterfly Man went on to be shortlisted for the Nita B Kibble Award, long-listed for the IMPAC award and won the Davitt Award in 2006. It was chosen for the Books Alive program in 2007. It is an audiobook through Bolinda Audio.
In 2009 The River Wife was published by Allen & Unwin. The River Wife, set in the Tasmanian highlands, was inspired by Heather’s love of Lake St Clair. It is a myth in the tradition of magical realism borne of many days spent wandering the Lake St Clair region though four seasons. The unpublished manuscript earned Heather the international Eleanor Dark Fellowship giving her a month at Varuna, The Writer’s House in the Blue Mountains, and a month in Scotland with the Unesco City of Literature, to develop the novel.
In 2005 Heather began a novel based on the work of performance artist Marina Abramovic. This would prove to be a novel about endurance both in content and creation. Heather was the inaugural Writer in Residence at MONA in Hobart in 2012/13 while completing the novel. In 2016 The Museum of Modern Love was published by Allen & Unwin. It has since been published internationally in Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States and translated into numerous languages.
In 2010 Heather partnered with Danielle Wood to create a children’s series for primary age readers. The first in the acclaimed series – Finding Serendipity – was published in Australia in 2013. It was quickly picked up by publishers Magellan in Germany and Henry Holt in the USA in a three book deal. Book two is A Week Without Tuesday published internationally in 2014/15 and the third book is Blueberry Pancakes Forever published internationally in 2016/17.
In 2017 Heather received an Australia Council grant to write a first draft of a political satire. It was Heather’s first Australia Council grant over 23 years as a writer and ten applications and allowed Heather to write full-time for the first time in her career as an author. Her new novel Bruny (2019) is the product of that intense period of work.
Sometimes when one writer talks to another, fascinating insights occur. Heather has interviewed a wide range of high profile authors in conjunction with Fullers Bookshop and the Tasmanian Writers Centre including:
Julia Gillard – Australia’s first female Prime Minister and author of My Story.
Charlotte Wood – prize-winning Australian author of The Natural Way of Things, Pieces of a Girl, Animal People, …
Rohan Wilson – prize winning author of The Roving Party, To Name Those Lost and his latest novel The Daughter of Bad Times
DBC Pierre – Booker Prize winner of Vernon God Little, Ludmilla’s Broken English, Breakfast with the Borgias …
Geraldine Brooks – Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Caleb’s Crossing, People of the Book, Year of Wonders, The Secret Chord …
Don Watson – prize-winning Australian author of Keating – Recollections of a Bleeding Heart, The Bush …
Katherine Scholes – bestselling author of The Rain Queen, The Perfect Wife, Lioness, The Hunter’s Wife…
Tracy Chevalier – bestselling author of The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Remarkable Creatures, The Last Runaway…
Christos Tsiolkas – prize winning Australian author of Barracuda, The Slap, Loaded …
Heather has had a significant career in business spending ten years as a copywriter and later becoming Creative Group Head in Australia’s second largest advertising agency – Mattingly & Partners – in Melbourne.
In 1999, after returning to Tasmania with her young family, Heather co-founded advertising agency Coo’ee Tasmania and built it into the state’s most highly awarded agency responsible for the leading community and social education campaigns.
In 2004 Heather won the Telstra Tasmanian Business Woman of the Year reflecting the extraordinary growth and success of Coo’ee Tasmania under her leadership as Managing Director.
In 2007, Coo’ee Tasmania transformed into Australia’s first green communications agency – Green Team Australia Pty. Ltd. partnered with Green Team USA in New York. Heather became Chairman and Managing Director. Green Team Australia specialised in health, education and community engagement for national and international clients. The business won more than 25 international creative awards and had offices in Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart. A love affair with New York began and continues.
Heather was appointed Chairman of the Festival of Voices from 2008 – 2011 building it from a fledgling festival into Tasmania’s premier winter event attracting thousands of people from interstate and overseas. She was awarded two national Australian Business Arts Foundation awards (now Creative Partnerships Australia) in 2010 and 2011 for the success of the Festival and her personal philanthropy.
In 2013 Heather was appointed as an inaugural Director of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation, overseeing Tasmania’s most exciting development precinct.
In 2013 Heather co-created the luxury accommodation business Library House in Hobart, featuring Heather’s extensive collection of books. It was named as one of Virgin’s Top 5 new getaways in Australia in 2014 and winning the Stayz Indulgence Accommodation for Tasmania in the same year.
In 2015 Library House was sold and continues to be a favourite Tasmanian tourism and luxury accommodation destination.
Heather lives by the sea in Tasmania. She is the grateful recipient of a 2019 Australian Council grant to research her next novel – a work of historical fiction. She is also writing a non-fiction collection and co-writing a film script. Beyond writing there is swimming, walking, gratitude, gardening, love, light and laughter.