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Kathleen O'Connor of Paris

Written by Amanda Curtin


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What does it mean to live a life in pursuit of art?

In 1906, Kathleen O’Connor left conservative Perth, where her famous father’s life had ended in tragedy. She had her sights set on a career in thrilling, bohemian Paris. More than a century later, novelist Amanda Curtin faces her own questions, of life and of art, as she embarks on a journey in Kate’s footsteps.

Part biography, part travel narrative, this is the story of an artist in a foreign land who, with limited resources and despite the impacts of war and loss, worked and exhibited in Paris for over forty years. Kate’s distinctive figure paintings, portraits and still lifes, highly prized today, form an inseparable part of the telling.


'Though O’Connor will always be part mystery, one thing is certain through Curtin’s research we will now know much more about O’Connor and her work.'
The Artist’s Chronicle

'Curtin unearthed obscure newspaper articles and letters to family and friends, providing tantalising glimpses into O'Connor's personality. Curtin fleshes out the bare bones to create a riveting story ...' Perth Voice

'... the result of years of painstaking research and an equally disciplined imaginative, empathetic engagement with her subject ...' The Weekend West

'... brilliantly researched ...' writingWA

'Kathleen O’Connor of Paris is a remarkable book. Countless hours of archive digging through obscure newspaper clippings, art samples and letters have resulted in a vibrant yet nuanced portrait of O’Connor that brings her art, passions and adventures to life.' Better Reading

'... Amanda Curtin paints a tender and engrossing account of a turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th, that is) woman who embraced a bohemian lifestyle ... The whole thing is entrancing.' Fremantle Shipping News


ISBN 9781925591644 (Paperback)
Formats C Format (234 x 153mm) (Paperback)
Categories Books for History Teachers
Art & Photography
Gift Ideas
Mother's Day 2021
Autobiography, Biography & Memoir
Publisher Fremantle Press
Edition 1st
Publication Year 2018
Pages 320
Rights World
  • Amanda fp web 240 x 240

    Amanda Curtin

    Amanda Curtin is the author of novels Elemental (2013) and The Sinkings (2008), short story collection Inherited (2011), and the narrative non-fiction title Kathleen O'Connor of Paris. Elemental was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards, and in 2016 was published in the UK. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in Griffith Review, Southerly, Island, Indigo, Westerly, Review of Australian Fiction and several anthologies. She has also worked as a book editor for many years. Amanda lives in Perth with her husband and an opinionated Siamese cat, and works in a backyard studio among magpies, doves and old trees. Read more