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Catherine McKinnon

MERRIGONGX 2020 Artist Profile

About

Catherine McKinnon is an award-winning writer. Her most recent novel, Storyland was published by Harper Collins in 2017, in 2018 it  was shortlisted for the Miles Franklin Award, the Barbara Jefferis Award and the Voss Literary Prize, long listed for the lndie Book Awards, and  was named one of ABC TV’s The Book Club’s Five of the Best in 2017. Catherine has directed and helped develop many new Australian plays.

Artist Statement

When I work on a play or a novel I need to understand and feel connected to the place the story comes from. Storyland involved lots of research: the usual bookish type, reading transcripts and historical records and pouring over old maps; visits to historical museums; interviews with locals and elders of the community; and walks through different locations in the lllawarra.

Some of the stories in Storyland are drawn from history and closely follow historical events, others are adventures and speculations into the future. Storyland in part broods on fear: what fear does to us, how it creates miscommunication and shapes violence. Also, I want Storyland to be an exploration of wonder. What is exciting about the environment around us, the land, the trees, the animals, the people, the weather, the stars, the moon and the fish in the sea. The characters I chose are the ‘sidekicks’ of history and the future. Ordinary people, but with extraordinary experiences.

Catherine McKinnon

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