Skip to content

Jane Harper


Set in a rural farming community, Jane Harper’s debut novel, The Dry, is a tightly-spun and suspenseful thriller. It tells the story of a Federal Police investigator who returns to his hometown after two decades of urban exile – tasked with examining the apparent murder-suicide of his childhood friend’s family. As he works his way through the drought-stricken settlement, a horrific truth begins to reveal itself.

The book has met with a sensational response from readers worldwide – as well as the attention of Hollywood, with film rights snapped up by Reese Witherspoon’s Pacific Standard production company. Critics have praised its sustained tension and unsettlingly vivid evocation of the Australian landscape’s most unforgiving traits.

Born in Manchester, Harper has moved back-and-forth between the UK and Australia, working as a journalist before developing her skills in fiction. A short story published in the Big Issue’s 2014 Fiction Edition provided a spark – but it was winning the 2015 Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for an Unpublished Manuscript that truly lit the fuse for Harper’s writing career.

Over dinner and drinks at Montalto, Harper will talk with Louise Swinn about the genesis of the novel, her creative path through different kinds of writing, and how she’s dealt with the joy (and pressure) of The Dry’s break-out success.

Please arrive 6.30pm for a 6.55pm start.


Jane Harper

Jane Harper is the internationally bestselling author of the The Dry, Force of Nature, The Lost Man and The Survivors. Her books are published in forty territories worldwide, and The Dry has been adapted into a major motion picture starring Eric Bana. Jane has won numerous top awards including the A... Read more

Louise Swinn

Louise Swinn is a journalist, editor, critic and writer, co-founder of Sleepers independent publishers, the Small Press Network, and the Stella Prize. Louise edited Choice Words (Allen & Unwin, 2019), a collection of pieces demystifying abortion, and currently works as a journalist with the Aust... Read more



33 Shoreham Road Red Hill South Victoria 3937

More details

Stay up to date with our upcoming events and special announcements by subscribing to the Wheeler Centre's mailing list.

View our privacy policy
Acknowledgment of Country

The Wheeler Centre acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we live and work. We pay our respects to the people of the Kulin Nation and all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past and present.