Nikki Gemmell

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Nikki Gemmell (born 1966) is an Australian author, best known for writing the best-selling erotic trilogy The Bride Stripped Bare, With My Body and I Take You.


Gemmell is the author of eight novels and four works of non-fiction. Her books have been translated into 22 languages.

Nikki was born in Wollongong, New South Wales and attended Kincoppal School, Sydney on a scholarship. She graduated from the University of Technology, Sydney with a Masters in Writing. She has worked as a radio journalist for ABC Radio in Sydney, Darwin, Alice Springs, at Triple J, the ABC's youth network, and as a producer for the BBC World Service.[1]

She is known for her use of the second-person narrative. Her distinctive writing has gained her critical and popular acclaim in France. She has been described in France as a "female Jack Kerouac".[2] In 2007, the French literary magazine Lire included her in a list of what it called the fifty most important writers in the world – those it believed would have a significant influence on the literature of the 21st century.[3]

Her best-known work is the 2003 novel The Bride Stripped Bare, an explicit exploration of female sexuality.

Originally written and published anonymously, Gemmell was identified publicly as the author of The Bride Stripped Bare before publication.[4] The book went on to become a worldwide publishing sensation[5] and the best-selling book by an Australian author in 2003.[6] In the wake of the success of Fifty Shades of Grey, it reentered the fiction charts in the UK in the summer of 2012, reaching number 8 on the Sunday Times best-seller list.

Two follow-up novels complete The Bride Stripped Bare trilogy: With My Body and I Take You. The latter has been described as a contemporary "retelling of D H Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, following a Notting Hill banker's wife and her affair with the gardener of a local communal garden.[7]

2013 saw the publication of her first novel for children, a chapter book titled The Kensington Reptilarium.

Gemmell contributes a weekly column to The Australian newspaper. Two collections of these columns have been published: Honestly – Notes on Life and Personally – Further Notes on Life.[8]

In 2003 Gemmell also penned a weekly column for the Mail on Sunday in London which formed the basis of a compendium titled Pleasure: An Almanac for the Heart (2006).[9]

In 1999, Cleave was shortlisted in the Fiction category of the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards.[10] Four books by Gemmell, Shiver, Cleave, The Bride Stripped Bare and The Book of Rapture, made the longlist of "Favourite Australian Novels" as chosen by readers of the Australian Book Review.[11]



  • The Kensington Reptilarium (Australia 2013)
  • I Take You (UK and Australia 2013, United States 2014)
  • With My Body (UK and Australia 2011, United States 2012)
  • The Book of Rapture (2009)
  • The Bride Stripped Bare (2003); published as La mariée mise à nu in France
  • Lovesong (2002)
  • Cleave (1998); published as Alice Springs in the United States (1999) and Les noces sauvages in France (2000)
  • Shiver (1997); published as Traversée in France (1999)

Non fiction[edit]

  • Personally – Further Notes on Life (2013)
  • Honestly – Notes on Life (2012)
  • Why You Are Australian – A Letter to My Children (2009)
  • Pleasure: An Almanac of the Heart (2006), published as Plaisir : Un florilège du coeur in France (2011)


  • Just Between Us: Australian Writers Tell The Truth About Female Friendship (Pan Macmillan Australia, 2013) Ed. Maya Linden, Christie Nieman, Maggie Scott, Natalie Kon-Yu, Miriam Sved
  • Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers (Lonely Planet, 2012) Ed. Don George
  • The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood (Red Dog Books, 2012) Ed. Rachel Power
  • Inside Notting Hill (Umbrella Books, 2007). Ed. Miranda Davies, Sarah Anderson
  • Some Girls Do ... My Life as a Teenager (Arena, 2006) Ed. Jacinta Tynan
  • Come Away With Me (Bantam, 2004) Ed. Sarah Macdonald
  • Writers on Writing (Penguin Books Australia, 2004). Ed. Roberts, Barry Mitchell, Roger Zubrinich
  • Australian Expats: Stories from Abroad (Global Exchange, 2003) Ed. Bryan Havenhand, Anne MacGregor
  • Gas and Air: Tales of Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond (Bloomsbury UK, 2002). Ed. Jill Dawson, Margo Daly
  • Neverland: What Australia Might Have Been (Pluto Press, 2002). Ed. Kevin Murray
  • My One True Love (Random House Australia, 2000). Ed. Caro Llewellyn
  • Australian Summer Stories (Penguin Australia, 1999)
  • Partners (HarperCollins Australia, 1999). Ed. Ross Fitzgerald, Anne Henderson


  1. ^ Healy, Madeline: Nikki Gemmell changes tact in The Book of Rapture, The Courier-Mail, 27 June 2009. Retrieved 22 July 2009.
  2. ^ Newsnight Review: Nikki Gemmell, BBC News, 10 March 2006.
  3. ^ Lessing's royal flush, Sunday Tasmanian, 21 October 2007
  4. ^ Interview transcript: Nikki Gemmell, Enough Rope with Andrew Denton, ABC TV, 28 July 2005.
  5. ^ Nikki Gemmell, Melbourne Writers Festival, 2009
  6. ^ Bookmarks by Jason Steger, The Age, 31 January 2004
  7. ^ "Fourth Estate buys erotic tale from Gemmell". The Bookseller. Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Gemmell, Nikki (24 March 2010). "Honestly: Notes on Life by Nikki Gemmell". Retrieved 22 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Beck, Chris: Pleasure of the next text, The Age, 10 December 2006.
  10. ^ Premier releases shortlist, Courier Mail, 22 September 1999
  11. ^ [1], Australian Book Review, February 2010

External links[edit]