Susan Johnson

susan-johnsonBorn in Brisbane but moving to Sydney at the age of three months, Susan Johnson spent her childhood around Sydney’s North Shore (St.Ives) and moved to Queensland with her family, to a pineapple farm, where she finished her last years of high school. Johnson attended Nambour High, and spent her last two years at Clayfield College.

Johnson is the author of ten books: eight novels; a memoir, and a non-fiction book, an essay, On Beauty, published by Melbourne University Press. Several of her books have been published in the UK, the US, and in European translations (French, Polish) as well as in Australia.

Johnson has been a full-time writer of fiction since 1985, when she received the first of three New Writers’ grants from the Literature Board of the Australia Council which allowed her to write full time. Before that she worked as a full-time journalist (starting at the Brisbane Courier-Mail and going on to work for such diverse publications as The Australian Women’s Weekly, The Sun-Herald, The Sydney Morning Herald and The National Times).

In 1985 she also co-edited and contributed to a collection of Queensland short stories called Latitudes: New Writing From The North. In 1989 Johnson was awarded the Keesing Fellowship at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. She has been a participant at most of Australia’s writers’ festivals and has a wide experience of readings, guest lectures and teaching work in universities in Australia, as well as in England, Hong Kong and the United States, including guest lectures at New York University, Amherst College, Boston University and Emerson College, Boston.

Throughout her years as a writer of fiction, she continued to publish journalism and essays on mainly literary matters for newspapers and magazines including The Guardian, The Times, The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Q Magazine of The Courier-Mail.

In 1999 Johnson returned to full-time journalism for a period of two and a half years as editor of an 18-page arts and culture section of The Age, Melbourne.

Having lived in the UK, France and Greece but returning to Brisbane, Australia, in 2010, Johnson lives with her two sons, Caspar and Elliot.


Published Works

  • Latitudes: New Writing From The North
  • Messages from Chaos
  • Flying Lessons
  • A Big Life
  • Women Love Sex
  • A Better Woman: A Memoir
  • The Broken Book
  • Life in Seven Mistakes
  • On Beauty
  • My Hundred Lovers

This year Susan Johnson is being sponsored by Arts Queensland