Felicity Volk studied English literature and law at the University of Queensland before joining Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). After diplomatic postings in Bangladesh and Laos, and following the birth of her two daughters, she began writing for publication while continuing to work at DFAT.
Felicity’s second novel, Desire Lines, will be published by Hachette Australia in early 2020. Written with the support of the Australia Council for the Arts and artsACT (the ACT Government), Desire Lines is the story of a compulsive, unconventional love spanning sixty years. Its exploration of honesty to self and to other in the most intimate of settings is pitched against the uneasy relationship society has with its own truth-telling in the context of war, politics, history and its treatment of those who are vulnerable. British child migration to Australia in the 1950s, the Fairbridge farm school scheme, the building of landmark structures of twentieth century Australia and milestones in the country’s modern history provide the backdrop for the lovers’ complicated affair.
Lightning, Felicity’s award winning debut novel, was published by Picador Australia (an imprint of Pan Macmillan Australia) in July 2013, with a grant from artsACT and a fellowship from the Eleanor Dark Foundation (Varuna, the Writers’ House). It was described by Richard Cotter in the Sydney Arts Guide as “an astonishing debut novel boasting pure, perfect crystalline prose, a prodigious intellect, and a propensity of storytelling talent and technique...a lightning strike on the Australian storytelling scene, a bolt of brilliance – flash, electric, startling.”
Previous fellowships from the Eleanor Dark Foundation supported Felicity to complete a collection of short stories, several of which have been published and won awards. The title story of the series, No place like home, was a prize-winner in The Australian Women’s Weekly/Penguin Short Story Competition (2006). Steal it with a kiss won the Angelo Natoli Short Story Award (FAW National Literary Awards) in 2006 and Ite, missa est (Go, you are sent forth) won the 2013 Carmel Bird Long Story Award. Felicity’s publishing credits include Women With a Mission -personal perspectives, co-edited with Dr Moreen Dee.
Felicity lives in Canberra, dividing her time between the world of foreign policy, writing, painting murals, tending the family menagerie and a forbearing garden and the gentle contemplations offered by a soothing pot of tea.