She has a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Adelaide. She taught at the University of Melbourne from 1981 to 1997 as a tutor and lecturer and has also worked briefly at Deakin, Flinders and Adelaide Universities, and at the University of Klagenfurt, in Austria. She was the editor of the Australian Book Review (May 1986 to Dec 1987), decades later she claimed that the experience involved her "learning more about human nature in those two years than in either the preceding thirty-three or the following nineteen."
In 1997, Kerryn Goldsworthy returned to Adelaide and turned to freelance writing. She was a judge of the prestigious Miles Franklin Award for a year, until she resigned, along with two other judges, over a charter that changed the decision-making powers of the judges. She has also served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Adelaide where she is a guest teacher in the Graduate Certificate course in Food Writing. She also writes for a number of weblogs. Goldsworthy's political views are left-wing. She once described herself as "an old fashioned feminist." In 2013 Goldsworthy was awarded the Pascall Prize 'Australian Critic of the Year', Australia's major national award for criticism.
- Goldsworthy, Kerryn (1989). North of the Moonlight Sonata. McPhee Gribble.
- Coast to Coast, HarperCollins Publishers (Australia) Pty Ltd (1 November 1986), ISBN 978-0-207-15300-6
- Australian Love Stories, Oxford University Press (1997), ISBN 978-0-19-550601-3
- Australian Women's Stories (edited by Kerryn Goldsworthy), Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-551295-3
- Australian Short Stories, J.M. Dent & Sons (1986), ASIN B000J6Z1TK
- Helen Garner (Australian Writers series), Oxford University Press, USA (1 May 1997), ISBN 978-0-19-553281-4
|Date||Review article||Work(s) reviewed|
|2014||Goldsworthy, Kerryn (Sep 2014). "Liminality". Australian Book Review. 364: 11.||London, Joan. The Golden Age. Vintage Australia.|
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- "Articles by author". Australian Humanities Review. Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "Items for Author "Goldsworthy, Kerryn"". Finders Academics Commons. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "Goldsworthy, Kerryn (a.k.a. Goldsworthy, Kerryn Lee)". AustLit. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "ABR Critics Goldsworthy". Australian Book Review. Archived from the original on 3 May 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-01.
- "Needing His Signature". Australian Humanities Review. Archived from the original on 26 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-30.
- Susan Wyndham (2004-12-22). "Judges storm out of Miles Franklin literary prize". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- "School of Humanities: Research Fellows / Adjuncts". University of Adelaide. Archived from the original on 9 July 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-29.
- Susan Wyndham (2007-03-31). "Rich New Award for Feminist Fiction". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2007-05-04.