Frank Moorhouse


Frank Moorhouse AM was born in the coastal town of Nowra, NSW. He worked as an editor of small-town newspapers and as an administrator and in the 1970s became a full-time writer. He has written fiction, non-fiction, screenplays and essays and edited many collections of writing. He has won major Australian national prizes for the short story, the novel, the essay, and for script writing. His work has been published in the United Kingdom, France and the United States and also translated into German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Serbian, and Swedish. He has also undertaken numerous writing fellowships.

Frank was made a member of the Order of Australia for services to literature in 1985 and was awarded an honorary doctorate from Griffith University in 1997. In 2001 he received the Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through writing.

Moorhouse is perhaps best known for winning the 2001 Miles Franklin Literary Award for his novel Dark Palace (Random House, 2000), which together with Grand Days (Random House, 1993) and Cold Light (Random House, 2011) --  ‘the Edith Trilogy’ -- is a fictional account of the League of Nations. The trilogy traces the strange, convoluted life of a young woman who enters the world of diplomacy in the 1920s through to her involvement in the newly formed International Atomic Energy Agency after World War II. Grand Days won the South Australian Premier’s Award for Fiction and, as well as winning the 2001 Miles Franklin Award, Dark Palace was shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Award, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Age Book of the Year Award. Cold Light won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards in 2012 and was shortlisted for the 2012 Miles Franklin Literary Award.

Frank’s novel Forty-Seventeen (1988) was given a laudatory full-page review by Angela Carter in the New York Times and was named 1988 Book of the Year by the Age and ‘moral winner’ of the Booker Prize by the London magazine Blitz. It also won the 1988 Australian Literature Society’s Gold Medal.

His novel The Electrical Experience (1974) won the 1975 National Award for Fiction.

Frank lives in Sydney. His latest book, The Drover’s Wife, was released at the end of 2017 by Random House.

Selected bibliography:


Futility and Other Animals (Gareth Powell Associates, 1969)

The Americans, Baby: a discontinuous narrative of stories and fragments (Angus & Robertson, 1972)

The Electrical Experience: a discontinuous narrative (Random House, 1974)

Tales of Mystery and Romance (Angus & Robertson, 1977)

The Everlasting Secret Family (Angus & Robertson, 1980)


Conference-ville (Angus & Robertson, 1976)

Forty-seventeen (Viking, 1988)

Grand Days (Pan Macmillan, 1993)

Dark Palace (Random House, 2000)

Cold Light (Random House, 2011)


Room Service: Comic Writings of Frank Moorhouse (Viking, 1985)

Loose Living (Picador, 1995)

The Inspector-General of Misconception: The Ultimate Compendium to Sorting Things Out (Random House, 2002)

Martini: A Memoir (Random House, 2005)

For enquiries about Frank’s publication, audio, film and TV rights, please contact Jeanne Ryckmans: