Jane Downing was born in Australia but was taken to live on Manus Island a month later. She has since lived in Tanzania, Ireland, Indonesia, the (then) USSR, China, the Marshall Islands and Guam, as well as Australia.
While living and working in the Marshall Islands, where truth was often stranger than fiction, she began to write.
She has works of prose and poetry published widely in Australia and overseas, her stories appearing in journals including Southerly, Westerly, Overland, Island, The Big Issue, Griffith Review, UTS Anthology, Australian Short Stories, Antipodes (US), Headland (NZ), Kunapipi (Denmark), Paris Transcontinental (France) and Silverfish (Malaysia) and her poems in publications including Cordite, Rabbit, Poetrix, the Canberra Times and Best Australian Poems (2004 & 2015). In 2016 Jane was one of two Australians shortlisted, out of nearly 4000 entries from 47 countries, for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. A full history can be found on Jane’s website.
The novel, The Sultan’s Daughter, was published in 2020 by Obiter Publishing.
“Casts an ironic eye on Western fascination with the East … in a fascinating and highly readable fiction.” – Elizabeth Webby
The Lost Tribe was published by Pandanus Books in 2005.
“In understated and balanced prose, Downing offers a wry observation of women caught between two worlds.” Tony Maniaty in The Weekend Australian.
The novel, The Trickster was published in 2003 by Pandanus Books at the Australian National University.
“Fairytale and myth are at the heart of this mischievous story about cultural and moral displacement… An unusual and engaging story, replete with irony.” Debra Adelaide in The Sydney Morning Herald.
A collection of Jane’s short stories, Searching for the Volcano (fourW press), was released in 1999.
“Downing makes time stand still as she explores both internal and external terrains with equal amounts of intensity and awe.” Australian Book Review
Jane’s next novel Yack was Commended in the Jim Hamilton Unpublished Manuscript Award, as part of the Federation of Australian Writers National Literary Awards, 2016.
She has a Doctor of Creative Arts degree from the University of Technology, Sydney.
She is now part of the publishing team at Obiter Press.