Molly Murn

Books Pippa Masson, Curtis Brown Australia Email Pippa Masson

Heart of the Grass Tree

book | Fiction | Feb 2019
ANZ → Vintage

There is something about this place - its expansiveness, its wind-rush, its sea-howl - that makes everything we hold tight just fall away. This place — Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Heart of the Grass Tree is a work of contemporary fiction which draws on the early contact history between European hunters and their stolen Aboriginal ‘wives’ who lived on the island before its official settlement in 1836. 

When Pearl returns to Kangaroo Island in the wake of her grandmother Nell’s death, she begins to unearth a connection to the island’s Aboriginal history and learns that, in love and grief, we become inextricably tied to one another. Heart of the Grass Tree is not only a nuanced story of lovers, mothers, and daughters told across the generations, but is concerned with the imperative of art in the healing process — both personally and collectively. It is a uniquely Australian story which explores the complexities of a shared history between blackfella and whitefella, against a backdrop of sealing, skinning, and the rough beauty of the South Australian landscape.


Kate Cooper manages the translation rights for Heart of the Grass Tree

Audio Rights


The audio rights are handled by Pippa Masson.

Film Rights


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Heart of the Grass Tree is a brilliant achievement. A strange and compelling story that held me in thrall from the first page to the last.

Alex Miller

Exquisite storytelling from a vital, lilting new voice.

Australian Women's Weekly

This type of novel does not allow the reader to be a passive recipient of the story. Instead, you are required to fit the pieces together, to become part of the consequences, lest your own role in the narrative fade away like the names weathered out of stone. As all of us will, in the end.

Newtown Review of Books

Heart of the Grass Tree is a story, richly told, of the landscape of Australian history – both emotional and physical – and the way we record these stories of place.

Readings Carlton

Heart of the Glass Tree announces Murn as a brilliant new voice in Australian fiction.

Hannah Kent
Full Review

From the opening descriptions of the purest strain of Ligurian bees on Kangaroo Island, Murn's novel promises a poetic narrative, relishing in sensuality and informed by historical research.

Adelaide Review

Murn moves effortlessly from one era to the next, suggesting connections between characters in different times, and making the island come alive in salty, sandy, windswept prose.

Adelaide Advertiser

With Heart of the Grass Tree, Molly Murn cements herself as not only one of Australia’s most exciting up-and-coming novelists, but a brilliant novelist of Australia... A true gift of a novel from a truly impressive storyteller.

Simon McDonald

Murn's book is a timely reminder of where we've come from and the light that lies ahead.

Sunday Times, Perth
Full Review

The book's strength is its evocation of that wild [Kangaroo] island, with its 'wind-rush, and its sea-howl'.

The Sydney Morning Herald

A richly told story about people and place.

Canberra Weekly

Pippa Masson
Curtis Brown Australia
Email Pippa Masson
Translation Rights
Kate Cooper
+44 020 7393 4425
Email Kate Cooper