Meg Keneally started her working life as a junior public affairs officer at the Australian Consulate-General in New York, before moving into journalism and corporate affairs. With her father, Tom, she is the author of the Monsarrat historical crime novels, which are published by Vintage.

Meg Keneally.

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Arthur Conan Doyle

This was a 12th birthday gift from my father, who wrote on the title page: "To Meg, who has made and will make great fantasies of her own". It was, really, an invitation to become both a reader and a writer, although at the time what struck me was the economy and elegance of the plotting, and Conan Doyle's ability to build a character with just a few brief strokes (although I wouldn't have expressed it like that at age 12).

Margaret Atwood


When I read The Handmaid's Tale, I had just done Nineteen Eighty-Four for the HSC. While I'd loved it and was in a dystopian frame of mind, Atwood hit closer to home. I'd had a reasonably sheltered childhood so the concept of women's bodies being used in this way, and their individuality being discarded, was seismic. Atwood wrote with such authority that the book had all the immediacy of a news report.

Aldous Huxley

I think this book is hugely relevant now. What has always stayed with me is Soma, and the concept of a population being given just enough of what they want to make them compliant. It challenged me to constantly ask myself what my own Soma was, and to shake myself out of the afternoon nap of false contentment if I felt it was making me miss something important.

Patrick Susskind

I always bore people about how much I love this book. It's one of those rare beasts: a story worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, written so beautifully that there are times when you want the plot to get out of the way so you can focus on the language. Susskind's ability to describe smell poleaxed me. It showed me that prose could achieve things I had thought were impossible, while at the same time making me keenly aware of how far I had to go!

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