Marion Halligan

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Marion Mildred Halligan AM (born 16 April 1940) is an Australian writer and novelist. She was born and educated in Newcastle, New South Wales, and worked as a school teacher and journalist before publishing her first short stories. Halligan has served as chairperson of the Literature Board of the Australia Council and the Australian National Word Festival. She currently lives in Canberra.

For a number of years she was a member of a group of women writers based in Canberra known as the "Canberra Seven" or "Seven Writers". The group began with three members in 1980, growing to seven by 1984. In addition to Marion Halligan, they were Dorothy Johnston, Margaret Barbalet, Sara Dowse, Suzanne Edgar, Marian Eldridge and Dorothy Horsfield. The group essentially disbanded after Marian Eldridge's death in 1997. However, before that they met regularly to critique each other's work, and published a book of short stories called Canberra Tales in 1988.[1]

She was made a Member in the Order of Australia (AM), General Division, in 2006 for services to literature and for her work in promoting Australian literature.[2]


ACT Book of the Year[3] Lovers' Knots: A Hundred-Year Novel, 1994 (joint winner)
The Point, 2004 winner
The Age Book of the Year Lovers' Knots: A Hundred-Year Novel, Imaginative Writing Prize 1992 winner; Book of the Year 1992 joint winner
The Golden Dress, Fiction Prize 1998 shortlisted
Commonwealth Writers' Prize The Point, South East Asia and South Pacific Region, Best Book 2004 shortlisted
Pascall Prize[4] Eat My Words, 1990 winner
The Miles Franklin Award The Golden Dress, shortlisted 1999
NBC Banjo Award The Spider Cup, 1990 shortlisted
Lovers' Knots: A Hundred-Year Novel, 1993 shortlisted
Nita Kibble Literary Award Lovers' Knots: A Hundred-Year Novel, 1994 winner
The Fog Garden, 2002 shortlisted



  • Self Possession (1987)
  • Spider Cup (1990)
  • Lovers' Knots: A Hundred-Year Novel (1992)
  • Wishbone (1994)
  • The Golden Dress (1998)
  • The Fog Garden (2001)
  • The Point (2003)
  • The Apricot Colonel (2006)
  • Murder on the Apricot Coast (2008)
  • Valley of Grace (2009)
  • Goodbye Sweetheart (2015)

Short story collections[edit]

  • The Living Hothouse (1988)
  • The Hanged Man in the Garden (1989)
  • The Worry Box (1993)
  • Collected Stories (1997)


  • Eat My Words (1990)
  • Out of the Picture (1996) - collection
  • Cockles of the Heart (1996) - travel
  • Those Women Who Go To Hotels (1997) - autobiography, travel
  • The Taste of Memory (2004)


  • The Gift of Story: Three Decades of UQP Short Stories (1998)
  • Storykeepers (2001)


  • The Midwife's Daughters (1997)


  1. ^ Australian Women Corporate Entry Seven Writers (1980-1998) Retrieved on 2007-09-05
  2. ^ "HALLIGAN, Marion Mildred - Member of the Order of Australia". Australian Government. Retrieved 2007-09-06. 
  3. ^ "ACT Book of the Year Winners". ACT Virtual Library. Archived from the original on 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-09-03. 
  4. ^ "Pascall Prize for Critical Writing". Geraldine Pascall Foundation. Retrieved 2008-06-27.