Julie Koh has been described as ‘the brightest new star in Australia’s literary galaxy’ by Louise Swinn. Oh God, I can already tell that this is one of those entries that will have me feeling so inadequate by the time I finish the research that I end up crying in the shower whilst drinking… again. Deep breath. She studied Politics and Law at the University of Sydney but quit corporate law to peruse writing.
Spineless Wonders published her first story collection, Capital Misfits, in 2015. This same collection was also picked up by Math Paper Press in 2016 and published with illustrations by Matt Huynh. Portable Curiosities was also published in 2016, through UQP.
Portable Curiosities, Julie Koh’s first full length collection, was met with critical praise. It was shortlisted for the Readings Prize for New Australian Fiction, the Queensland Literary Awards, the Steel Rudd Award, New South Wales Premiere Literary Awards, the UTS Glenda Adams Award, to list just a few…. These are happy tears of congratulations I’m crying, not envy.
Julie Koh’s fiction can be hard to pin down, so is at times classified as Weird Fiction as it it quite literary but with speculative elements. This has surprised her as she felt that her writing was quite normal. It is set around real issues and sure there’s the odd god or ghost, but hey that’s just life. People in Julie Koh’s family on her mother’s side are quite spiritual and can see ghosts.
On her down time she is also one of the founding members of Kanganoulipo, a super secret writing sect tasked with shaking up the landscape of Australian literature. Former Robinpedia entrant, Jane Rawson, is also part of this top secret collective. So keep your eyes, including the third one, peeled.
Find Julie Koh’s website here.
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