Elise McCune

Elise McCune is an Australian, Melbourne-based international author.

Growing up in New South Wales, Australia, the daughter of a piano playing father, and a mother who filled their home with books and gardened, Elise learned the value of imagination and storytelling. She read prolifically and widely of books in both the school and community library.

Elise moved to Perth, Western Australia where she raised her two children. She worked for ten years in the Western Australian Museum before settling two hundred kilometres north of Perth on a five thousand acre farm and finally on a vineyard in Yallingup near Margaret River two hundred and fifty kilometres south of Perth. She now lives in Melbourne.

In 2016 she graduated from the  University of Iowa’s International Writing Program on fiction writing, centred on female authorial voices and female literary characters.

Her novel Castle of Dreams, published by Allen & Unwin is a poignant, luminous novel about two sisters, about a mother and daughter, a loved granddaughter, the past that separates them and the healing that comes with forgiveness. It is a time-split novel set in Brisbane during the Pacific War, in northern California, and in the present day. It was sold by Allen & Unwin at the London Book Fair to Cappelen Damm and translated into Norwegian.

With the castle setting and family secrets the novel fits into the gothic genre, but ironically sans the cold and dark of the customary gothic, swapping it instead for tropical rain forest setting. Elise has given us a novel of rare beauty that matches that of the exquisite forest setting.  Paula Xiberras, Tasmanian Times 


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