Melissa Ashley

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Melissa Ashley (born 1973) is an Australian novelist. In the 2017 Queensland Literary Awards, her novel The Birdman's Wife won the University of Queensland Fiction Book Award[1]. It also received the Australian Booksellers Association Nielsen BookData 2017 Booksellers Choice Award.[2]


Ashley was born 1973 in New Zealand and arrived in Australia aged eight. Ashley has two children and is a self-confessed committed "twitcher".[3]

Ashley's interest in birds motivated her 2016 historical novel The birdman's wife, about Elizabeth Gould who illustrated and drew specimens of birds for her husband John Gould's various books on birds.[3]

Ashley wrote her novel The birdman's wife as part of her PhD whilst studying at the University of Queensland.[4]

Published Works[edit]

  • Cvetkovic, Lidija; Johnson, Ruth; Ashley, Melissa, 1973- (1996), Desire inDifference, Hetaira Press, ISBN 978-0-646-29022-5CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Ashley, Melissa (2003), The hospital for dolls, Post Pressed, ISBN 978-1-876682-50-7
  • Ashley, Melissa Jane (2009), The girl without hands : extract from the manuscript of a novel. The maiden without hands : from folktale and fairy tale to contemporary novel, St. Lucia, Qld, retrieved 9 October 2017 (M.Phil Thesis)
  • Ashley, Melissa Jane (2016), The birdman's wife, South Melbourne, VIC Affirm Press, ISBN 978-1-925344-99-8
  • Ashley, Melissa (2019), The bee and the orange tree, South Melbourne, VIC Affirm Press, ISBN 978-1-925712-01-8


  1. ^ "Winners and finalists". Queensland Literary Awards. 2017. Archived from the original on 9 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  2. ^ "The Nielsen BookData 2017 Booksellers' Choice Award". Australian Booksellers. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b Baum, Caroline (14 October 2016). "The Birdman's Wife by Melissa Ashley: Elizabeth Gould's forgotten talent". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  4. ^ "UQ graduate brings trailblazing woman out of shadows". UQ News. University Of Queensland. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.

External Links[edit]

Author's website