Heather Rose is the award-winning author of eight novels and is one of Australia’s most diverse writers.
Heather’s 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.
To be published by Allen & Unwin late 2022
A LITTLE MORE DETAIL
Heather’s latest novel is the bestselling, genre-bending Bruny. It won the 2020 Fiction Book of the Year in the Australian Book Industry Awards.
Bruny was also shortlisted for the 2020 INDIE’s (Independent Bookseller Awards) and the Davitt Crime Fiction Award, and longlisted for the NIB Literary Awards and the International Dublin Literary Award.
Reviews have included: ‘Now we have Bruny, which is more like a hand grenade than a book, with its excoriating satire and explosive views on our political and economic trajectory. It’s the best evidence yet that Australian writers are finally waking up to the unfolding crisis.’ Rohan Wilson, The Australian
“Rose has mastered the contemporary realist novel. Is there nothing she cannot do with her words and skilled imagination? No vignette or internal dialogue is here that doesn’t enhance the complex tale she is making.” Helen Elliot, The Age
“Book of the NOW, if not the great modern Tasmanian novel. Incandescent with despair-filled rage and ferocious with caring. I wept while reading, over and over, at the painful truths and at OUR idiot carelessness … seamless and enormously entertaining story telling for readers of all stripes and is packed with spit-out – your-drink -laughing swipes that Tasmanians especially will have no doubt as to who, what or where is being paid out on.” Catherine Schultz, Fullers Bookshop
“Bruny is a faaaaantastic political thriller. I no longer work in a bookstore, but if I did I’d tell people this is the PERFECT summer read. Page-turner, explosions, intrigue, affairs and betrayal, and a touch of romance. It’s like an intelligent blockbuster.” Bri Lee
Bruny was one of Australia’s top 10 bestselling novels of 2020 and is currently being adapted for screen.
Heather’s seventh novel is The Museum of Modern Love. Internationally acclaimed and multi-award winning, The Museum of Modern Love was launched in the US at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the first novel to ever have such an honour. The film of the New York 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 and is currently being adapted for both screen and stage.
The Museum of Modern Love won the 2017 Christina Stead Prize for fiction in the New South Wales Premier’s Prizes. It was the first novel written by a Tasmanian to win the award since Helen Hodgman in 1989 for her book Broken Words. Other winners of the Christina Stead Prize include Helen Garner, Peter Carey, David Malouf and Michelle De Kretser.
The Museum of Modern Love also won the 2017 Margaret Scott Prize in the Tasmanian Premier’s Prizes 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.
The Museum of Modern Love is being adapted for both screen and stage.
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 major newspapers and magazines, plus 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 (2004) and the recipient of two national Creative Partnerships (formerly ABAF) awards for her contribution to the arts (2010 & 2011). She has won over 25 national and international awards for advertising and marketing.
Heather is the mother of three wonderful adults. 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 fiction and non-fiction books in development.
For more about our Tuesday McGillycuddy series for younger readers please visit Tuesday’s website
Heather has been represented in Australia by Gaby Naher, Left Bank Literary, since 1999.
Heather gratefully acknowledges photographer Peter Mathew for his wonderful portraits.
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.
The above three works – a coming of age novel, a work of crime fiction and a novel of magical realism, inspired Heather to continue to embark on new literary adventures with each subsequent work.
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. It is being adapted for both stage and screen.
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 ten applications and some 23 years as a writer. It allowed Heather to write full-time for the first time. Her novel Bruny (2019), a political thriller and family saga, is the product of that intense period of work. It is also being adapted for screen.
In 2019 Heather received a second Australia Council grant to research a new novel. It will be Heather’s first work of historical fiction and is inspired by family history.
Continuing to explore the broad landscape of writing, in 2021 Heather completed a memoir. It is due for publication by Allen & Unwin late 2022.
Sometimes when one writer talks to another, fascinating insights occur. Heather has interviewed a wide range of acclaimed authors in conjunction with Sydney Writers Festival, Fullers Bookshop, major libraries across Australia and the Tasmanian Writers Centre including:
Elizabeth Gilbert – international best-selling author of Big Magic, Eat, Pray Love, The Signature of All Things …
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, Damascus …
Craig Silvey – author of the international bestseller Jasper Jones and his new novel Honeybee
Kate Kruimink – author of Vogel prize winning novel A Treacherous Country
Adrienne Eberhard – poet of five collections including her latest – Chasing Marie Antoinette All Over Paris
Suzanne Leal – author of The Teacher’s Secret and her latest novel The Deceptions
Caroline Baum – distinguished journalist and author of the memoir Only
Eimear McBride – Irish author whose debut novel A Girl is a Half-formed Thing won the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction and Irish Novel of the Year. Her subsequent novels are The Lesser Bohemians and Strange Hotel.
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.
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 2012 Heather was appointed as an inaugural Director of the Macquarie Point Development Corporation, overseeing Tasmania’s most exciting development precinct. Heather served on the board until 2016.
In 2013 Heather co-created the luxury accommodation business Library House in Hobart. 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. It was sold in 2015.
Heather was appointed as a Trustee of the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in 2020.
Heather lives by the sea in Tasmania. She is currently writing a new novel – a work of historical fiction inspired by family history. A memoir will be published by Allen & Unwin late in 2022.
Beyond writing there is sea swimming, adventures, gratitude, gardening, light, love and laughter.