Anna Cowan


A bit more about me.

I grew up on Ngunnawal country in Canberra, the purpose-built capital of Australia that lies between lake and sky. My birthright is a love of brutalist architecture. At eight I was already writing stories about displaced children, magical drawings and monsters. I was already addicted to imagining myself into other worlds. My characters were already overwrought weirdos.

After finishing school I undertook the obligatory Grand Tour of the Continent. The wider world bewildered me. I moved to Sydney where I fell in love with the outdoors and Chinese noodles. I moved to Melbourne where I fell in love.

I went back to Europe, and this time I had love on my side. From the roof of a Hackney council flat I saw the edge of London. I studied for a year at Humboldt University in Berlin, and ran demonstrations of bathbombs at the Lush store on Friedrichstrasse. When I couldn’t sleep late at night I took refuge in Dussmann bookstore, where I discovered Twilight. I took the train to Prague and Babi showed me the house where she grew up, her high school. I had the worst job in Glasgow, and then the best. We walked everywhere.

We got married on the shores of Loch Lomond, which was just as romantic as it sounds.

Back in Melbourne I finished my writing degrees, then finished a couple of manuscripts. I wrote a second draft of Untamed, which was when I really learned to write. Then I wrote the whole book again from scratch. Untamed was published in 2013 – the beginning, I thought, of the career I had always dreamed of!

Two tiny souls, however, had other ideas. I made and mothered two children in quick succession. I wrote. I got ahead of myself. I had, constantly, to stop and be patient. Of my two endeavours, only one could be put aside.

But now I have a charming office, two school-aged children, three cranky guinea pigs and a husband whose joy is to take care of us all.

Here it comes. Here I go.

“And still, we will fall in love. We will find meaning in one another. We will bring further generations into this world, with full unblinking awareness of how painful life can be. We will take stock of all the evidence that suggests hopelessness as the most reasonable attitude, and we will hope anyway.”

Cecilia Grant