Thea Astley held a position as fellow in Australian literature at Macquarie University until 1980, when she retired to write full time. She is a prolific author who won many awards, including the Miles Franklin Award four times--for "The Acolyte," "Drylands," "The Slow Natives," and "The Well Dressed Explorer." Other awards include the 1975 Age Book of the Year Award, the 1980 Australian Literature Studies (ALS) Award, the 1986 ALS Gold Medal, the 1988 Steele Rudd Award, the 1990 NSW Premier's Prize, and the 1996 Age Book of the Year Award.
'A mesmerising novel ...a fascinating estimate of the costs of being different.' New York Newsday 'Dazzling imagery on every page.' Publishers Weekly 'Beautifully poised and structured.' Canberra Times 'Touched by the flying fringe of greatness ...penetrating, passionate, keen in its observation, quick in its feeling.' Meanjin