About the Author

Katherine Johnson AuthorTasmanian writer Katherine Johnson is the author of four novels. Paris Savages (Ventura Press 2019) is based on the true story of ‘human zoos’ in Europe in the late nineteenth century. It has been shortlisted in the ABIA awards and will be published in the UK in 2020. Katherine’s third novel, Matryoshka or Russian dolls (Ventura Press 2018), is a story of secrets, refuge and loves lost and found. Her previous novels include The Better Son (Ventura Press 2016), set in northern Tasmania’s caves, and Pescador’s Wake (Fourth Estate 2009), the story of the danger and heartbreak of lives at the mercy of the sea during a three-week Southern Ocean chase. Paris Savages and The Better Son are also available as Audiobooks through Wavesound.

Katherine is the recipient of The University of Tasmania Prize and the People’s Choice Award (Tasmanian Literary Prizes) and HarperCollins Varuna Awards. The Better Son was longlisted for the Australian Indie Book Awards 2017 and the Tasmania Book Prize (Premier’s  Literary Prizes 2017).

As well as writing fiction, Katherine is a science journalist. She has worked for various agencies including the CSIRO and the Center for International Forestry Research. Her feature articles have appeared in publications including the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend magazine (Wild Medicine), the World Wildlife Fund-endorsed publication Living Planet, CSIRO’s Ecos, and Australasian Science. Katherine has travelled in Africa, Indonesia, Europe, Canada, China and Alaska. She lives in Tasmania with her husband and two children, holds a PhD (creative writing) and a BA/BSc Hons 1.

Please connect on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram @KJohnsonauthor. Agent: Jeanne Ryckmans, Cameron’s Management info@cameronsmanagement.com.au

Invited speaker festivals/conferences

  • Perth Festival 2020
  • Margaret River Writers’ Festival 2020
  • Leading Edge Booksellers’ conference: Discover New and Diverse Voices session (Adelaide) 2019
  • International Australian Studies Association conference: Unsettling Australia (University of Queensland, Brisbane) 2018
  • International Australian Studies Association panel at the Australia in a Changing World conference (Beijing) 2018
  • One Title One Townsville 2018
  • Sydney Writers’ Festival (Varuna) 2009/2017
  • Great Writing (Imperial College, London) 2016
  • Tamar Valley Writers’ Festival 2016/18/20
  • Tasmanian Writers’ Festival 2013
  • Sounding the Earth Conference (Launceston, Tasmania) 2010
  • Eltham New Voices Festival 2009
Bookshop and library events

Muse (Canberra), Better Read than Dead (Sydney), Readings (Melbourne), Fullers Bookshop (Hobart), Riverbend Bookshop (Brisbane), Petrarch’s Bookshop (Launceston, in assoc with National Book Council Tasmania), Mary Who? (Townsville, in assoc with Townsville Libraries and One Title One Townsville), The Bookshop at Queenscliff (in assoc with Rural Australians for Refugees), State Cinema Bookshop (Hobart), Hobart State Library, Kingston Library (Tas), Townsville Library, Gold Coast Library. Signings nationally.

Awards
  • Shortlisted ABIA Small Publishers’ Adult Book of the Year 2020 (Paris Savages)
  • Longlisted Indie Book Awards 2017 (The Better Son)
  • Longlisted The Tasmania Book Prize, Premier’s Literary Prizes 2017 (The Better Son)
  • HarperCollins Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2013
    (The Better Son under the working title Kubla)
  • University of Tasmania Prize 2013 – Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013
    (The Better Son under the working title Kubla)
  • People’s Choice Award 2013 – Tasmanian Literary Awards 2013
    (The Better Son under the working title Kubla)
  • HarperCollins Varuna Award for Manuscript Development in 2007
    (Pescador’s Wake, Fourth Estate 2009)
  • Photojournalist of the Year Award, University of Queensland 1992
Supported by

Pescador’s Wake and The Better Son were assisted by Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts. Matryoshka was assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory board; the Tasmanian Writers’ Centre and Tasmanian Regional Arts through the Commonwealth Government’s Regional Arts Fund; and Arts Tasmania by the Minister for the Arts.

‘From the first pages, this debut novel stands out for its subject matter: deep-sea fishery …The novel balances the sea story and the artistic novel; a different novelist would have swashbuckled, or made more of the crime suspense. Johnson instead draws lives, ordinary people drawn into exceptional circumstance. Like most debuts, it promises much for the next book. Unlike most debuts, it is ambitious and unusual.’ The Sunday Age ‘M’ Supplement, Jan 18, 2009.

‘From the first pages, this debut novel stands out for its subject matter: deep-sea fishery …The novel balances the sea story and the artistic novel; a different novelist would have swashbuckled, or made more of the crime suspense. Johnson instead draws lives, ordinary people drawn into exceptional circumstance. Like most debuts, it promises much for the next book. Unlike most debuts, it is ambitious and unusual.’ The Sunday Age ‘M’ Supplement, Jan 18, 2009.

6 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Thank You Tasmania | Karenlee Thompson

  2. Dear Katherine Johnson.
    I have enjoyed your three books enormously and keenly await the new one. I wanted to give all three to a friend for a special birthday and have ordered Matryushka and Better Son from my local bookshop. Pescador’s Wake, however , is only available as ” print on demand ” from Harpers and I have had a bad experience with them previously – the requested book never arrived.

    Do you have a spare copy I could buy from you? Just thought it was worth asking. I don’t understand why you are not more widely known as I think your books are terrific.

    Regards,
    Marina Garlick

  3. Dear Marina

    Thank you so much for making contact, and apologies for the delay in replying. I don’t receive notifications of messages that come directly to my website, and have just seen this now. (I’m quicker on facebook @KJohnsonauthor if you happen to use facebook, but I’ll endeavour to check here more often, too.) I really appreciate your feedback and have just phoned my local bookshop to check the situation with Pescador’s Wake. As you say, it is now ‘print on demand’, but you should be able to order it from any bookshop – they order it direct from HarperCollins – one of the bigger suppliers (although it will take a few weeks to arrive). I don’t unfortunately have copies for sale (must look into doing that…) but Fullers Bookshop here in Hobart have one in stock if that helps. Where are you based? I really appreciate your message and kind thoughts, and I hope your friend enjoys the books.

    My fourth novel, Paris Savages, is out this Oct, after six years’ of writing. Hopefully you will enjoy that one too if you get a chance to read it. Do let me know.

    warm wishes,
    Katherine

  4. Can you please advise where I can buy your books in Brisbane.

    • Hello Stephen, Yes most bookstores should carry them. There is an event At Riverbend bookshop on Oct 28 if you are free.
      kind regards
      Katherine

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