Kate Grenville's letters

One of Australia's most celebrated authors has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by UNSW.

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Award-winning Australian author, Kate Grenville, has received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from the University in recognition of her eminent service to the community.

Grenville said the honorary award was significant because it recognised her literary contributions.

"I'm thrilled! This is a wonderful recognition from the 'ivory tower', but also a reminder that pathways into academia don't always have to be conventional," said Grenville who has a PhD in Creative Arts.

The author has a strong association with UNSW. She wrote part of her most celebrated novel, The Secret River, while she was a UNSW Literary Fellow. During this time she was a member of the School of English and taught a series of creative writing classes.

"UNSW is a forward-thinking and engaged university and I felt inspired and supported by the collegial atmosphere," said Grenville. "The Literary Fellowship allowed me to fully submerge myself imaginatively in my writing for the first time in my career."

Grenville's books about the writing process, and her memoir about the writing of The Secret River (Searching for The Secret River) are used in many writing courses in schools and universities.

The author also has a family association with UNSW - she will attend her son's graduation here in May.

"My son has almost completed his Master of Architecture, I think it's wonderful that we will both attend ceremonies here in the same year," she said.

Media contact: Fran Strachan | 9385 8732 | 04294 16070 | fran.strachan@unsw.edu.au