19 July 1921
Lismore, New South Wales
|Died||March 15, 2010
Lismore, New South Wales
|Genres||Children's literature, folklore, magic realism|
|Notable award(s)||Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing
Order of the British Empire
Patricia Wrightson (19 June 1921 – 15 March 2010) was an Australian writer of several highly regarded and influential children's books. Her reputation came to rest largely on her magic realist titles. Her books, including the widely praised The Nargun and The Stars (1973), were among the first Australian books for children to draw on Australian Aboriginal mythology. Her books have been published in 16 languages.
Literary career 
She was born on 19 June 1921 in Lismore, New South Wales. Her formal education came largely through a state correspondence school set up for children in the country. During World War II, she worked in a munitions factory in Sydney. In the mid-60s she became assistant editor, and later editor, of the School Magazine, a literary publication for children.
She wrote 27 books during her lifetime and entwined Australian Aboriginal mythology into her writing. As her writing developed, Wrightson's work revealed two key characteristics: her use of Aboriginal folklore, with its rich fantasy and mystery, and her understanding of the importance of the land.
Since 1955 when her first novel, The Crooked Snake, was published, her books have won many prestigious awards all over the world. She was awarded an Order of the British Empire in 1977, the Dromkeen Medal in 1984 and the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1986, all for her services to children's literature.
Many of her books were shortlisted for the Australian Children's Book of the Year Award and she won this award four times: in 1956 for The Crooked Snake, in 1974 for The Nargun and The Stars, in 1978 for The Ice is Coming and in 1984 for A Little Fear. The Patricia Wrightson Award for Children's Literature was established in 1979 in her honour.
She died of "natural causes" on 15 March 2010, a few days after entering a New South Wales hospital.
List of awards 
- 1956, Australian Children's Book of the Year Award
- 1974, Australian Children's Book of the Year
- 1978, Australian Children's Book of the Year
- 1982 Ditmar Award. Best Long Australian Science Fiction or Fantasy for Behind the Wind
- 1984 Dromkeen Medal
- 1984, Australian Children's Book of the Year
- 1986 Hans Christian Andersen Award for Writing
Selected works 
- The Crooked Snake (1955). Winner CBA Book of the Year 1956.
- The Bunyip Hole (1958). Commended CBA Book of the Year 1959.
- The Rocks of Honey (1960)
- The Feather Star (1962). Commended CBA Book of the Year 1963.
- Down to Earth (1965)
- A Racecourse for Andy (1968)
- I Own the Racecourse! (1968). Highly commended CBA Book of the Year 1969.
- Beneath the Sun: an Australian collection for children (1972)
- An Older Kind of Magic (1972). Highly commended CBA Book of the Year 1973.
- The Nargun and the Stars (1973). Winner CBA Book of the Year 1974.
- Emu Stew: an illustrated collection of stories and poems for children (1976)
- The Human Experience of Fantasy (1978)
- Night Outside (1979)
- Journey Behind the Wind (1981)
- A Little Fear (1983). Winner CBA Book of the Year 1984.
- The Haunted Rivers (1983)
- Moon-Dark (1987)
- The Song of Wirrun (1987)
- The Ice Is Coming (1977). Winner CBA Book of the Year 1978.
- The Dark Bright Water (1978)
- Behind the Wind aka Journey Behind the Wind (1981) Highly commended CBA Book of the Year 1982.
- Manmorker (1989)
- Balyet (1989). Shortlist CBA Book of the Year: Older Readers 1990.
- The Old, Old Ngarang (1989)
- The Sugar-Gum Tree (1991). Shortlist CBA Book of the Year: Younger Readers 1992.
- Shadows of Time (1994)
- Rattler's Place (1997). Honour Book CBA Book of the Year: Younger Readers 1998 (in Aussie Bites series)
- The Water Dragons (in Aussie Bites series)
See also 
- Obituary The Times, 23 April 2010.
- "Patricia Wrightson obituary" Julia Eccleshare guardian.co.uk, Sunday 9 May 2010
- "Patricia Wrightson Internationally acclaimed Australian author dies at 88"
- "About the Author" in Wrightson, P., The Nargun and The Stars, Puffin Books, 1973 ISBN 0-14-030780-X
- McGuirk, Rod (25 March 2010). "Australian author Patricia Wrightson dies at 88". Charlotte Observer. Associated Press. Retrieved 2 April 2010.
- "Dromkeen Medal". Scholastic. Retrieved 15 July 2007.