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Kirsten grew up in Sydney and studied English and Fine Arts at the University of Sydney. She lived in New York between 1998 and 2006, where she completed a PhD in English on Renaissance poetry at Rutgers University. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Kirsten’s first novel, The Legacy, was published to international critical acclaim in 2010, and selected as a Kirkus Reviews Best Debut Novel of the year. The Legacy was shortlisted for the ABIA Literary Fiction award, the ALS Gold Medal, the Indie Debut Fiction award, and longlisted for the Miles Franklin award. Her second novel, A Common Loss, was released in 2012. Kirsten’s novels have been translated into Spanish, Chinese, and Polish.
Kirsten has published poetry, short fiction, literary criticism, and articles on contemporary fiction. Her short fiction features in publications including Best Australian Stories 2014, the Sleepers Almanac, and Island magazine. Her reviews and journalism appear regularly in The Australian and The Sydney Morning Herald. Links to reviews, profiles and other writing by Kirsten can be found here.
Kirsten has also been awarded support from the Australia Council for the Arts and the Cultural Fund of the Copyright Agency Limited.
Kirsten is one of the founders of the new award for Australian women’s writing, The Stella Prize.