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A Room Made of Leaves

What if Elizabeth Macarthur—wife of the notorious John Macarthur, wool baron in the earliest days of Sydney—had written a shockingly frank secret memoir? And what if novelist Kate Grenville had miraculously found and published it? That’s the starting point for A Room Made of Leaves, a playful dance of possibilities between the real and the invented.

Marriage to a ruthless bully, the impulses of her heart, the search for power in a society that gave women none: this Elizabeth Macarthur manages her complicated life with spirit and passion, cunning and sly wit. Her memoir lets us hear—at last!—what one of those seemingly demure women from history might really have thought.

At the centre of A Room Made of Leaves is one of the most toxic issues of our own age: the seductive appeal of false stories. This book may be set in the past, but it’s just as much about the present, where secrets and lies have the dangerous power to shape reality.

Kate Grenville’s return to the territory of The Secret River is historical fiction turned inside out, a stunning sleight of hand by one of our most original writers.

kategrenville.com.au

A READER’S INTRODUCTION TO A ROOM MADE OF LEAVES:

What if Elizabeth Macarthur’s letters and journals were a mask hiding her true experiences and emotions? What if the contemporary expectations of a gentlewoman prevented her from writing her truth to anyone but herself?

This is Kate Grenville’s starting point for this brilliant novel, a starting point encouraged by Elizabeth Macarthur’s recommendation not to believe too quickly...

Read our book club notes for more.

Kate Grenville in conversation with Ramona Koval

INTERVIEWS and REVIEWS

3CR: Published or Not   
3RRR: Backstory (0:09:00)
ABC Radio National: The Bookshelf (0:21:00)
ABC Radio National: The Book Show  
ABC Radio Melbourne: Mornings (2:14:00)   
ABC Radio Sydney: Focus  
Age   
Australian ($)
Australian ($)  
Australian Financial Review  
BBC: Open Book  
Books, Books, Books podcast  
Booktopia blog  
Booktopia podcast   
Chat 10 Looks 3 (0:27:30)  
Conversation  
Feminist Writers Festival blog   
Final Draft podcast  
First Time podcast   
Guardian  
Guardian  
Guardian   
Guardian   
Meanjin: Lockdown ($)  
Melbourne Writers Festival keynote speech   
Monthly   
Radio NZ   
Readings  
Saturday Paper   
Sydney Morning Herald  
Sydney Morning Herald: Creatives aren't just head-in-the-clouds dreamers    
The Garret podcast  
The Leaf Bookshop (video) 
Wheeler Centre  



Kate Grenville
About the Author

Kate Grenville is one of Australia’s most celebrated writers. Her international bestseller The Secret River was awarded local and overseas prizes, has been adapted for the stage and as an acclaimed television miniseries, and is now a much-loved classic. Grenville’s other novels include Sarah Thornhill, The Lieutenant, Dark Places and the Orange...

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Extent:
336pp
Format:
Hardback
Text publication date:
2 July 2020
ISBN:
9781922330024
AU Price:
$39.99
NZ Price:
$48.00
Australian
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