Thea Astley was born in Brisbane in 1925. Her first novel, Girl with a Monkey, was published in 1958 and her third, The Well Dressed Explorer (1962), won the Miles Franklin Literary Award. Many notable books followed, among them the groundbreaking A Kindness Cup (1974), which addressed frontier massacres of Indigenous Australians, and It’s Raining in Mango (1987). Her last novel was Drylands (1999), her fourth Miles Franklin winner. Her fiction is distinguished by vivid imagery and metaphor; a complex, ironic style; and a desire to highlight oppression and social injustice. One of the most distinctive and influential Australian novelists of the twentieth century, Astley died in 2004.