Merlinda Bobis
(Philippines, 1959)   
Merlinda Bobis

Filipino-Australian writer Merlinda Bobis has published in three languages (English, Pilipino, Bikol) across multiple genres. Her novels, short story and poetry books, and plays have received various awards, including the Prix Italia, the Steele Rudd Award for the Best Published Collection of Australian Short Stories, the Philippine National Book Award, and the Australian Writers’ Guild Award.

Bobis has been short-listed for The Age Poetry Book Award and the Australian Literature Society Gold Medal. She has performed her dramatic works in Australia, Philippines, US, Canada, Spain, France, and China. Her latest novel is Fish-Hair Woman. She teaches Creative Writing at the University of Wollongong.

In her own words: ‘Writing visits like grace. Its greatest gift is the comfort if not the joy of transformation. In an inspired moment, we almost believe that anguish can be made bearable and injustice can be overturned, because they can be named. And if we’re lucky, joy can even be multiplied a hundredfold, so we may have reserves in the cupboard for the lean times.’

© Merlinda Bobis


Pag-uli, Pag-uwi, Homecoming (trilingual poetry collection), University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Manila, 2004
Summer Was a Fast Train Without Terminals, Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, 1998
Cantata of the Warrior Woman Daragang Magayon / Kantada ng Babaing Mandirigma Daragang Magayon (bilingual epic poem for performance) Institute of Women’s Studies, St. Scholastica’s College, Manila, 1997, 1993
ang lipad ay awit sa apat na hangin / flight is song on four winds (bilingual poetry collection), Institute of Women’s Studies, St. Scholastica’s College Manila, 1991, 1990
Rituals, Life Today, Manila, 1990

Novels, Short stories & lectures
Fish-Hair Woman (novel), Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, 2012/Anvil Publishing, Manila, 2012
The Solemn Lantern Maker (novel), Pier 9, Murdoch Books Australia, 2008
Delta, Random USA, 2009

Banana Heart Summer (novel), Pier 9, Murdoch Books Australia, 2005/Anvil Publishing, Manila, 2005
White Turtle (collection of short stories), Spinifex Press, North Melbourne, 1999/De La Salle University Press, Manila, 2000
The Kissing, Aunt Lute Books, San Francisco, 2001
A Novel-in-Waiting (lecture series), University of Santo Tomas Publishing House, Manila, 2004

Merlinda Bobis' author homepage
Bobis on her novel 'The Solemn Lantern Maker' ( ABC 'Perspective')
Bobis on traditional Bikol poetry (Red Room Company)
Link to Bobis's radio play 'Corazon de Lorca'
Bobis performing an excerpt of her novel 'Fish-Hair Woman'
Link to Bobis's radio play, 'River, River'
Bobis on her novel 'The Solemn Lantern Maker' (Interview with 'The Book Show')
Bobis talks about writing and teaching in multicultural Australia


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