Reading Kate Llewellyn’s Garden(Books)

Kate Llewellyn does not like her work referred to as 'garden writing' or herselfas a 'garden writer', yet much ofher prose (and poetry) takes the garden and gardening as its subject, and many members of her appreciative reading public would probably be surprised and puzzled by the refusal ofthese labels.1 The blurb on the fly-leaf of Playing with Water: A Story of a Garden (2005) describes Llewellyn as 'the author of 16 books, including the bestselling The Waterlily: A Blue Mountains Journal, which has sold over 30,000 copies'. A piece tagged 'Woonona author happy in the garden' published in the Wollongong Advertiser in November 2005 notes that Playing with Water was the highest-selling book by an Australian author at that year's Sydney Writer's Festival. Llewellyn is a highly accomplished poet: books include Trader Kate and the Elephants (1982), Luxury (1985), Honey (1988), Figs (1990), Selected Poems (1992), Crosshatched (1994) and Sofa/a and Other Poems (1999), but poetry does not sell well.

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Published 1 October 2006 in Volume 22 No. 4. Subjects: Australian women writers, Diaries & journals, Gardens & gardening.

Cite as: Collett, Anne. ‘Reading Kate Llewellyn’s Garden(Books).’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 22, no. 4, 2006.