Skip to Content

Australian Book Review

Francesca Rendle-Short

When it was first published in Australia in 2012 “The House of Fiction” attracted many reviews and a host of radio interviews – it was the shock of the revelations about an Australian literary icon that provided the hook. This review by academic and author, Francesca Rendle-Short in a literary magazine was one of the…
» Continue Reading

A book plate inspired by The House of Fiction

designed by Carmel O'Connor

This book plate was designed and printed by Carmel O’Connor, an Australian artist from Melbourne, Australia. She kindly gave me an original print of her design plus copies of the image that now tell borrowers of any book of mine who they’ve borrowed it from! The book plate was part of a fundraiser for the Firestation Print Studio and shown…
» Continue Reading

Appledore Book Festival

I took part in the Appledore Book Festival in Devon on September 2014. What a lovely experience! An exciting programme, beautiful place and great atmosphere. About the Appledore Book Festival The Appledore Book Festival was founded in October 2006 by a local committee led by local children’s author Nick Arnold who became Festival Director. The picturesque fishing village of…
» Continue Reading

Publisher’s Note from the first Australian edition, now published in the UK by Scribe Publications

… to the outside world the unhappiness and the problems may not show at all … – Elizabeth Jolley, ‘The Changing Family – Who Cares?’ When Susan Swingler submitted her manuscript to Fremantle Press early in the summer of 2011, I received it with some wariness. The House of Fiction, I understood, was the memoir…
» Continue Reading

The ‘Spectator’ reviews The House of Fiction

an intriguing story of an Australian literary icon’s bizarre hoax, and her stepdaughter’s attempt to comprehend it.

There aren’t many places you can get shouty about Proust without losing your job. The Lane Bookshop in Perth, Western Australia, is one of them. As an undergraduate, I’d pitch up there for work on Saturday mornings with as much song in the heart as a hangover allowed. Because for me the Lane wasn’t just…
» Continue Reading

Sara Davies interviews Susan Swingler


Writer and radio producer Sara Davies’ adaptation of House of Fiction for BBC Radio was aired in June. Here Sara interviews Sue Swingler about the process of researching and writing her memoir.

The secret sister my father kept hidden

The Guardian Family Section 24 May 2014

It was 1967, the summer of love, and I was going to get married. But I needed my father, Leonard, to give permission because I was under 21. I hadn’t seen him since I was four, when he left my mother, Joyce, and disappeared from my life. I knew he was living in Australia with his…
» Continue Reading

Susan Swingler on Midweek with Libby Purves

BBC Radio Four

Susan Swingler joined British Museum curator Dr Daniel Antoine, translator and editor Brendan King and artist Hetain Patel on Midweek with Libby Purves. The group discussed everything from mummies, history and identity to art, expression and loss. Libby Purves presented some poignant questions to Sue Swingler about her book and the process of resolving a…
» Continue Reading

Caroline Baum in conversation with Susan Swingler

Sydney Writers Festival

Susan Swingler talks to Caroline Baum during the Sydney Writers Festival. Caroline is one of Australia’s leading journalists and broadcasters and runs the Bookshots websites.

House of Fiction a “moving and captivating memoir”

Sunday Herald (Glasgow) Review

A short but very nice review of the UK edition of House of Fiction from Glasgow’s Sunday Herald on Sunday, 3rd May 2014: Perhaps fiction writers are best placed to create fictions out of their own worlds, but as Susan Swingler’s moving and captivating memoir shows, the damage wreaked can be huge. When her father,…
» Continue Reading