Lian Hearn/ Gillian Rubenstein

Three names and three careers as a writer. Gillian Hanson was a freelance journalist, arts editor and film critic in London and Sydney in the late 60s and 70s. In 1973 she emigrated to Australia, lived in Sydney and Byron Bay. Her three children were all born in NSW. In 1981 the family moved to South Australia and Gillian returned to writing, under her married name of Gillian Rubinstein. Her first novel, Space Demons, was published in 1986. It became a huge best seller and won many awards. It was followed by Beyond the Labyrinth (CBCA Book of the Year), Galax-Arena and Foxspell (CBCA Book of the Year), as well as two sequels (Skymaze and Shinkei) and many other books for children of all ages. Gillian also worked in theatre, collaborating with directors Nigel Jamieson (Galax-Arena, Wake Baby), Peter Wilson (Wake Baby, Moon Play) and Kim Carpenter (Jake and Pete, Robinson Crusoe, The Gypsy Boy).

In 1993 Gillian made her first trip to Japan, a country which had fascinated her since she was a child. This inspired her to start writing Across the Nightingale Floor, the first in the Tales of the Otori, published under the pen name Lian Hearn. In 1999 she received an Asialink Fellowship to spend three months in Japan, and was a guest artist at Akiyoshidai International Arts Village in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The five books that make up the Tales of the Otori appeared over the years 2002 to 2008, have been published in 40 countries and have sold over 4 million copies around the world. Film rights were sold to Universal Studios.

Two other historical novels have been published under the name of Lian Hearn: Blossoms and Shadows, a story set during the years leading up to the Meiji Restoration of 1868, and The Storyteller and His Three Daughters, set in Tokyo in the 1880s. Gillian/Lian is currently working on another epic set in the world of the Otori. She now lives in Mullumbimby, New South Wales, and spends her time studying Japanese, bird watching and kayaking.

Published: 10:53 on Apr 04, 2015
Last Updated: 19:51 on Mar 02, 2016