Zana Fraillon was born in Melbourne Australia, but spent her early childhood in San Francisco. As a child Zana always had her head in a book. This could have been because she was 8 years-old before anyone realized that she was incredibly near-sighted and probably couldn’t see anything further away than the words in a book. But regardless of its origins, her love of reading has remained central to her life and work. ‘I grew up in a house that had a whole room full of books and comfy chairs and this was my favourite place to be.’
Zana studied history at university before training to be a primary school teacher and both these passions influence her approach to writing. Through meticulous research she has also discovered that it is essential to eat copious amounts of chocolate in order to write anything at all.
Zana has written two picture books for young children, a series for middle readers, and a fictitious book for older readers based on research and recounts of survivors of the Forgotten Generation.
She lives in Melbourne, with her three sons, husband and two dogs, and still always has her head in a book, despite now using glasses to see anything further away. When Zana isn’t reading or writing, she likes to explore the museums and hidden passageways scattered across Melbourne. They provide the same excitement as that moment before opening a new book – preparing to step into the unknown where a whole world of possibilities awaits.
Her most recent book is The Bone Sparrow, published by Disney-Hyperion press in 2016.
In the tradition of Morris Gleitzman and Markus Zusak, Zana Fraillon’s The Bone Sparrow is a profoundly moving glimpse of an unacknowledged life, one that is played out time and time again in detention centres and refugee camps across the world. Full of vivid imagery and emotion, this is a funny, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting hymn to freedom and love.
Agent Name: Claire Wilson