Jane Downing was born in Australia but was taken to live on Manus Island three weeks 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, 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 and 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.
A collection of Jane’s short stories, Searching for the Volcano (fourW press), was released in 1999.
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.
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.
Jane’s next novel Yack was Commended in the Jim Hamilton Unpublished Manuscript Award, as part of the Federation of Australian Writers National Literary Awards, 2016.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.
The lovely people at Margaret River Press interviewed Jane in October 2015.