Abandoned by her mother as an infant, Kate Howarth was raised by her grandmother and other relatives in Darlinghurst and rural N.S.W. Howarth was taken out of school at age 14 due to hardship, believing then that her aspirations of one day becoming a writer were gone forever. When Howarth fell pregnant at the age of 15, she was sent by her grandmother to the St Margaret's Home for Unwed Mothers in Sydney. After giving birth, she resisted the pressure to give her son up for adoption and became one of few women to leave the institution with her child. The story of the first 17 years of her life is recounted in her memoir Ten Hail Marys, which challenges evidence taken at a Parliamentary inquiry into Adoption Practices in N.S.W. from 1950 to 1998.
Before writing her book, Howarth worked as a factory worker, an Avon sales representative, corporate executive and restaurateur. She was instrumental in building Manpower Personnel, a recruiting and personnel company, and at age 49 she began writing her memoir.
- Ten Hail Marys (2010) ISBN 978-0-7022-3770-6
Awards and nominations
- 2008 - Queensland Premier's Literary Awards (David Uniapon Award) for Ten Hail Marys
- 2010 - Victorian Premier's Literary Award - Shortlisted for Indigenous Writing Award.
- 2010 - Won -The Age Non-Fiction Book of the Year