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The Broken Book - Susan Johnson

Paperback Published: 1st October 2005
ISBN: 9781741146646
Number Of Pages: 324

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A remarkable story of one woman's struggle to become the artist she has passionately planned to be. Written with an awe-inspiring ability, it is one of the most powerful and moving Australian novels of recent times.

Both very Australian and resoundingly international, The Broken Book confirms Johnson's status as one of the finest Australian writers ... fiercely beautiful.' - The Australian

Katherine Elgin grew up in a small coastal town in Australia, desperate to transcend her beginnings and make her mark. From her rebellious and contemplative childhood Katherine emerges as a stunningly beautiful young woman, with a voracious appetite for life's most interesting experiences and an overwhelming desire to write the best book she possibly can.

But beauty is a double-edged sword and throughout her life - from Sydney, to London, to the islands of Greece - Katherine carries the burden of being both siren and artist.

Mirroring truths of art and life, creativity and reality, The Broken Book is wonderfully rich, complex and compelling. Susan Johnson has created an audacious and original novel with an awe-inspiring ability to explore emotional truths.

About the Author

Susan Johnson was shortlisted for the 1991 Victorian Premier's Literary Award for her novel Flying Lessons (Heinemann 1990), shortlisted for the 1994 National Book Council's Banjo Award for the novel A Big Life (Pan Macmillan 1993) and shortlisted for the National Biography Award 2000 for her memoir A Better Woman (Random House 1999). Her other books include Hungry Ghosts (Pan Macmillan 1996), Messages from Chaos (Harper and Row 1987), Womenlovesex (Random House, 1997 editor and contributor). The Broken Book was shortlisted for the 2005 Nita B Kibble Award; the Best Fiction Book section of the Queensland Premier's Literary Award; the Westfield/Waverley Library Literary Award, and the Australian Literary Society Gold Medal Award for an Outstanding Australian Literary Work.

Industry Reviews

A novel of great creative and emotional perspicacity that conveys in equal measure the vivaciousness and tragedy of Clift's life.' - Catherine Keenan, Sun HeraldBoth very Australian and resoundingly international, The Broken Bookconfirms Johnson's status as one of the finest Australian writers ... The language is as graphic and taboo-breaking as it is philosophical and often, fiercely beautiful.' - Jane Cornwell, Sydney Morning Herald... an imaginative work, deftly breathed into, transforming fact into myth' - Sara Dowse, Canberra Times

Makes me want to be a better writer!


As a writer who adores this author's work, I found myself compelled to finish and get into my own work. Johnson's THE BROKEN BOOK makes me want to be a better writer!

Sydney, AU


The Broken Book

5.0 1


ISBN: 9781741146646
ISBN-10: 174114664X
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 324
Published: 1st October 2005
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 19.5 x 13.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.32
Edition Number: 1

Susan Johnson

About the Author

Susan Johnson grew up in Sydney and Brisbane, and is currently based in London. The author of six novels and a memoir, she has been published in Australia, the UK, USA and Europe, and recently celebrated twenty years as a full-time writer.

Her books include Messages From Chaos, Flying Lessons, A Big Life, Hungry Ghosts, and A Better Woman; she also edited the anthologies Latitudes - New Writing from the North, and Women Love Sex.

The Broken Book, based loosely on the life of the Australian writer Charmian Clift, was longlisted for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.

Visit Susan Johnson's Booktopia Author Page