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Julia Lawrinson


Julia Lawrinson has written more than a dozen books for children and teenagers, many of them award-winning. She grew up in the outer suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, not long after the first moon landing. She loves dogs, oceans, and sunsets, and still likes to gaze at the night sky, just in case.

Julia’s new memoir, How To Avoid A Happy Life, is coming out soon and is suitable for senior students and adults. The book has already received wonderful attention and praise:

‘Astute, compassionate, heartbreaking, compelling – and sometimes downright astonishing.’

Kate Evans – ABC Radio National host of The Bookshelf

‘How To Avoid A Happy Life is a potent elixir of heartbreaking incident and astonishing resilience, and I’d have to add redemption. Julia Lawrinson is that rarest of things: a true original voice. Such an inventively irreverent and fearlessly honest memoir!  This book is exactly what George Eliot meant when she said, “Literature of the most intimate sublimity can actually tell us how emotionally crowded any given day can be, and yet still have a distinct philosophical vigor and indispensability. ”  Julia Lawrinson has dignified the art of memoir.’

Howard Norman – US writer, author of Come to the Window

Where were you born?

I was born in the outer suburbs of Perth, a place so desperately boring that my cousins, my friends and I were forced to use our imaginations to avoid death by tedium.

What other jobs have you had?

I’m the only person to have been both Sergeant-at-Arms and Usher of the Black Rod in any Westminster Parliament. Black Rod had the better title, but as Sergeant I had better weaponry.

What themes are recurring in your work?

Most of my titles are based in the real world and are often about friendship and learning how to get on with people who are different from you. My latest book, The Flyaway Girls, is a novel about gymnastics, friendships and what to do if you’re not the best at the thing you love best.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Winning the Western Australian Premier’s Literary Award for my first Young Adult novel, Obsession; having the same novel regularly stolen from libraries, (great to have written a book readers adore so much!)

What are you passionate about?

I want people to be tolerant of each other, and for kids to have confidence in their talents and abilities.

Haven’t I seen you before?

I was once on Red Faces on Hey Hey It’s Saturday, wearing a pink lame dress and a sequined cap and playing the kazoo.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I love Jack Russells, open-minded people and the beach.

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