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Kim Kelly is the author of seven novels exploring Australia and its history, including the acclaimed Wild Chicory and The Blue Mile, and UK Pigeonhole favourite, Paper Daisies. Her stories shine a bright light on some forgotten corners of the past and tell the tales of ordinary people living through extraordinary times.

With warmth and lyrical charm, Kim leads her readers into difficult terrain, exploring themes of bigotry, class conflict, disadvantage and violence in our shared history – issues that resonate through the social and political landscape of Australia today.

A widely respected book editor and literary consultant by trade, stories fill her everyday – most nights, too – and it’s love that fuels her intellectual engine. Love between lovers, friends, strangers; love of country; love of story. In fact, she takes love so seriously she once donated a kidney to her husband to prove it, and also to save his life.

Originally from Sydney, today Kim lives on a small rural property in central New South Wales just outside the tiny gold-rush village of Millthorpe, where the ghosts are mostly friendly and her grown sons regularly come home to graze.

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More About This Author
Female
New South Wales
Authors Book Genres
Historical Fiction
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Author's Books
Book Title

From the coal-rich valleys of Australia to the battlefields of France, war consumes all – except the most tenacious love. Told with warmth and wit, Black Diamonds is the tale of a fierce young nation and two fierce hearts who dare to discover what courage really means.

‘This is the story of a love greatly tested and of the resilience of ordinary Australians sucked into a pointless war by propaganda. It’s enough to turn you into a war protester.’ – Australian Women’s Weekly

Book Title
Historical Fiction

Against the glittering backdrop of Sydney Harbour, The Blue Mile is a story of the cruelties of Great Depression poverty, the wild gamble a city took to build a bridge – a wonder of the world – and the risks only the brave will take for a chance to truly live and love.

‘Kelly’s evocation of 1930s Sydney has a marvellous depth and authenticity based on some impressive research, and her characters, plot and fluid prose draw the reader into this world.’ Daily Telegraph

Book Title

A haunting tale of love, murder and misogyny. Unfolding at the dawn of 1901, as Australia at last becomes a nation and her women rally for the right to vote, Paper Daisies tells of the dangerous path one woman must tread to see justice done – and the man who lights her way.

‘one of the most powerful books I’ve read in years’ – Virginia Haussegger, AM, journalis

Author's Books
Book Title

It’s 1939 and the girl next door wants adventure before she settles down – but war gives her more than she asks for. From Australia’s sparkling shores to her dusty, desert heart, This Red Earth charts a fight for home, and a quest to tell the truth about love – before it’s too late.

‘Kim Kelly seems to understand the sounds and scents of the country … The strength of This Red Earth is that it reads as authentic in terms of the times in which it is set. Yet it does not succumb to saccharine nostalgia and feels like you are looking through a wide and clear window back to the 40s.’ Helen Crompton, The West Australian

Book Title

What happens when a hardworking farm girl and a spoilt rich-boy gambler are mistaken for dangerous bushrangers on the road to the goldrush? At a breakneck gallop through wild colonial Australia, Lady Bird & The Fox untangles a tale of true identity and blind bigotry, of two headstrong opposites thrown together by fate, their lives entwined by a quest to get back home – and the irresistible forces of love.

‘Sophisticated commentary on race, privilege and the place of women.’ – Newtown Review of Books

Book Title

Wild Chicory is a novella that takes the reader on an immigrant journey from Ireland to Australia in the early 1900s, along threads of love, family, war and peace. It’s a slice of ordinary life rich in history, folklore and fairy tale, and a portrait of the precious relationship between a granddaughter, Brigid, and her grandmother, Nell.

'Why can't more people write like this?' - The Age

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