At the beginning of the year, Australian author Julia Leigh, hailed by The Observer (London) as one of “21 writers for the 21st century”, settled in New York where she taught English Literature for a semester at Barnard College. In 2003, the young author had headed for New York for the first time from Paris, where she was living at the time, to be closer to her mentor, Toni Morrison, and facilitate their meetings during the mentoring year. She then returned to her native Sydney to focus on her second novel and teach writing.
Leigh recently finished writing a novella, after trying her hand at this new genre under the benevolent eye of Toni Morrison whom she admires most of all for “her willingness to explore raw and difficult terrain” and with whom she will continue working even though it has been four years since their official mentoring year came to a close. The novella will be published in 2008 in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Spain. Like her first novel, The Hunter, which has won acclaim the world over and been translated into six languages, Leigh’s novella will also be published in several languages.
Continuously expanding her writing repertoire, Julia Leigh is also working on two screenplays, for which she has received a grant from the Australian Film Commission, while completing her doctoral degree in English Literature at the University of Adelaide in Australia.