Joy Rhoades was born in Roma in western Queensland, with an early memory of flat country and a broad sky. Growing up, she loved two things best: reading and the bush, whether playing in creek beds and paddocks, or climbing a tree to sit with a book. Her family would visit her grandmother, a fifth generation grazier and a gentle teller of stories of her life on her family’s sheep farm.
At 13, Joy left Roma for Brisbane, first for school and then to study law at university. After graduating, she worked all over: first Sydney, then London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Tokyo and New York. It was in New York that she completed a Masters in Creative Writing at the New School University, and wrote much of The Woolgrower’s Companion, a novel inspired in part by snippets of her grandmother’s life and times.
She now lives in London with her husband and their two young children, but she misses the Australian sky.
The Woolgrowers Companion was short-listed for the McKittrick Prize from the Society of Authors in London.
The Burnt Country is her second novel, continuing the story of Kate Dowd in The Woolgrowers Companion.