The heartwarming story of Lilian Singer, who starts life at the start of the twentieth century as the daughter of a prosperous middle-class Australian family and ends it as a cheerfully eccentric bag-lady living on the streets
This is the story of Lilian Singer, born on ‘a wild night in the year of Federation’ into a stifling household which totally fails to subdue her.
Madness, cruelty and sexuality permeate the household but Lilian’s sights are set on education, love and – finally – her own transcendent forms of independence.
Lilian Singer is, or becomes, that rare being: an eccentric true to her own self whose story reaches out to touch and delight the most discerning reader. She radiates energy and vitality through every page of this striking work.
Winner of the 1984 The Australian/Vogel Literary Award.
‘Dazzling fiction of universal appeal’ Patrick White
‘A work of considerable beauty and power…told with great honesty and virtuosity.’ New York Times Book Review
Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s finest writers. Her bestselling novel The Secret River has been published in more than twenty countries. It has received numerous awards, including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Miles Franklin Literary Award. The companion memoir, Searching for the Secret River, was released in 2006.
The Idea of Perfection won Britain’s prestigious Orange Prize for Fiction, and her other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Lilian’s Story, Dark Places and Joan Makes History.
As well as her novels and a collection of short stories, Grenville has published three books about the writing process, one co-written with novelist Sue Woolfe. The Writing Book, Writing From Start to Finish and Making Stories have become classics both for writing classes and individuals. Grenville has also written a memoir, Searching for The Secret River, an account of the research and writing of the novel for which she’s best-known.
The Lieutenant, The Secret River, and her most recent novel, Sarah Thornhill together make up The Colonial Trilogy, novels which explore Australia’s often troubled past.
Grenville was born in Sydney and has lived in the UK, France and the USA. She has been awarded many honours, including an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of NSW. For many years she taught Creative Writing in universities, but she now writes full-time. In her leisure hours she enjoys attempting to play the cello in an amateur orchestra and a string quartet. She lives in Sydney with her family.