Carmel Bird (1940- ), born Launceston, Tasmania, was educated at the University of Tasmania and lived for a period in Europe and the USA before settling in Melbourne. Bird's fiction blends real and surreal, mundane and macabre with inventive irony, reflecting her perception of Tasmania itself as an 'ironic' island, whose picturesque surface masks deep secrets and is haunted by the ghosts of Aborigines and convicts. She has published two novels, Cherry Ripe (1985) and The Bluebird Cafe (1990), and four collections of short stories, Births, Deaths and Marriages (1983), The Woodpecker Toy Fact (1987), Woodpecker Point (1988) and The Common Rat (1993). She has also written a guide for writers, Dear Writer (1988), and edited a collection of short stories, Relations (1991).
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