Lian Hearn Biography
Lian Hearn is a pseudonym for Gillian Rubinstein, a well-known Australian
writer of children's books and plays. She chose not to publish The
Otori Trilogy under her own name so as to have her first adult book judged
in its own right and not compared to her previous writing for children.
She chose her name by combining her childhood nickname (the last letters of
Gillian) and the surname of Lafcadio Hearn, an Irish writer who lived in Japan
at the end of the 19th century.
In June 2002, sometime after the book had been sold on its own merits to publishers in multiple countries, and optioned for film writes, Rubinstein admitted that she was the author, saying "I think there is a strong tendency among the spectators or the readers of culture to pigeonhole people, and that's the thing thatartists hate having done to them. They want to be free to do whatever seems to
be the right thing at the time."
Rubenstein was born in England, grew up in the countryside and divided her teenage years between her mother and her stepfather's home in Nigeria, a remote English village and boarding school. She studied languages at Oxford University, travelled in Europe and worked in London, as editor, freelance journalist, script assessor and film critic. She emigrated to Australia in 1973, and came to live in South Australia in 1981.Rubinstein has had a long-standing interest in Asia and returned to Japan in 1999 on a residency to work on what would become The Otori Trilogy.
This biography was last updated on 06/10/2011.
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