Favel Parrett

Portrait Favel Parrett
© Hartwig Klappert

Australian author Favel Parrett was born 1974 and grew up on the island of Tasmania. She started off by writing short stories for magazines. In the year 2008, she won a place on the Hachette Australia/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and was one of the participants in the Australian Society of Authors mentorship in 2009.

2011 saw the release of her debut work »Past the Shallows«, which was nominated for the Miles Franklin Award and the Melbourne Award in 2012. At the age of 25, Favel Parrett learned surfing and came to know the depths of the ocean. As she said in an interview, this was a key experience in writing her debut novel: »I was this young and fairly impressionable girl and the ocean was always this big, terrifying, wild thing to me. But just sitting on top of the water and letting the energy pulse roll over you, there is the sudden realisation that the ocean is so much bigger than you.« In a simple and elegant style, her first work tells the story of the brothers Joe, Miles and Harry, who are growing up on the south-east coast of Tasmania with their father, a abalone diver. As there mother is no longer alive, they are often left to their own devices. Their bitter father has a hard fight against the sea every day, is a heavy drinker, unpredictable and threatening to crumble under the weight of a dark secret. His inexplicable rage is directed at Harry in particular. Miles tries to comfort his younger brother, but his brotherly care is unable to fend off the oncoming disaster. Parrett manages to draw the reader gradually into the depths of this family’s tragedy, and, thanks to her differentiated character portraits, the reader is even able to feel sympathy for the threatening and unpredictable father. The book was also praised by critics for its impressive description of Tasmania’s landscape in winter.

Favel Parrett was awarded the Newcomer of the Year Australian Book Industry Award as well as the Dobbie Award for authors. She lives today in Victoria, Australia and is currently working on her new novel.