Biography of Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy was born in Louth, Lincolnshire, England in 1963, but moved with her family to Australia as a young child. Her father was in the Air Force, which led to a lot of moving around the continent, and Kennedy cites this frequent moving as an important link to her love of literature. In an interview with The Age's Jane Sullivan, Kennedy said of her frequent moving, "books were the constant in my life, the characters never changed. I still read books over and over again for the sheer joy of it: the constancy of that little universe."

As a high schooler, Kennedy won a short-story competition put on by The Canberra Times. She went on to study creative writing in college, but after graduating, took a long break from writing. She was working as a librarian when she decided to start writing short stories again and entered the Scarlet Stiletto crime-writing competition, which she won. Despite the commercial challenge of marketing short stories and publishing houses' general resistance to the form, Kennedy stuck with short stories, feeling that the short form fosters the strongest relationship with readers.

Kennedy has published several collections of both poetry and fiction, including Like a House on Fire, The Taste of River Water, Signs of Other Fires, Joyflight, Dark Roots, and Crucible and Other Poems. She is a two-time winner of The Age Short Story Competition, and a recipient of the 2013 Steele Rudd Award, the 2002 Vincent Bucklet Poetry Prize, and the 2001 Victorian Premier's Literary Award, among others.

Kennedy now teaches creative writing at Pacific University's MFA program. She's taught creative writing at several institutions, including the University of Melbourne.

Study Guides on Works by Cate Kennedy

Cate Kennedy's second short story collection, Like a House on Fire, was published in 2012 by Scribe. In the collection, Kennedy explores topics of displacement, illness, recovery, dependence, and motherhood, among other things. The stories in this...