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Curtin PhD helps Brooke Davis launch literary career

Media release

A PhD in creative writing has provided the foundation for Curtin graduate, Dr Brooke Davis, to launch a career as a full-time novelist.

Brooke Davis
Brooke Davis' debut novel 'Lost & Found' is available in more than 21 countries. Pic: Ailsa Bowyer.

Brooke’s debut novel ‘Lost & Found’, published by Hachette Australia on June 24, has been well received internationally with rights sold in more than 21 countries including the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Germany and France. The novel was the ‘buzz book’ of the 2014 London Book Fair.

Brooke, originally from Victoria and now resident in Perth, wrote the novel as part of her PhD on writing about grief, which she completed in 2013.

Her achievement has been acknowledged by her Curtin supervisor, Dr David Whish-Wilson, Senior Lecturer in the School of Media, Culture and Creative Arts.

“I am not surprised by the response to Brooke’s work,” he said.

“Brooke is an accomplished and thoughtful writer who is dedicated to her craft. Her talents are obvious to see, but the method and measure of her story-telling, and her ability to communicate emotion are enduring features of her writing.

“This is a spectacular debut. The accolades are well deserved and I am certain they will motivate Brooke to achieving even greater literary feats,” Dr Whish-Wilson said.

Brooke, a bookseller by profession, said she had been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response to her first novel.

“I had fairly low expectations of what the book would do,” she said.

“I was amazed when it got published in Australia, now it’s a dream run that just doesn’t seem to end. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m ridiculously excited, overwhelmed and terrified,” she said.

Brooke said the first ideas for the novel came when she was on a trip overseas in 2008 and her mum had just passed away.

The novel is set on Western Australia’s south coast and is written from the point of view of three different characters, who deal with their experiences of life, love, and the inevitability of loss.

An extract from the book titled ‘Karl the Touch Typist’ won the 2011 Postgraduate Queensland Writing Prize.

Amongst Brooke’s other awards are the 2009 Bobbie Cullen Memorial Award for Women Writers and the 2009 AAWP prize for best post-graduate paper.