Krissy Kneen* is my inspiration. I count her as a friend. I know a lot of writers, and, like the best of them, Krissy stands out in her absolute bravery, and her will for perfection. It terrifies and delights me.
She's a writer that you will be hearing about quite a bit in the next few years, and I suspect that she will be nominated for a few Aurealis Awards, too. She has already published two books with Text. Affection which was a frank discussion of sexuality through memoir, and Triptych a series of novellas looking at sexuality. There are few other writers that engage with the subject as beautifully and bravely. She's not frightened to be confronting.
Her prose is glorious, measured and challenging. She works hard, she struggles with everything, challenges everything - including her own beliefs - and manages to produce work that says so much. And she's prolific, without her prose reading as though it's forced or rushed. Expect to see at least three remarkable books from her in the next eighteen months.
She's a great writer, but Krissy has also been a tireless supporter of Australian writers for over a decade. Through Avid Reader (the bookshop where I work) she has launched more books than just about anybody in Australia.
Authors that pay it back to their fellow writers are fairly common (I think we all like to support other people who are struggling along just as much as we are) but there are few people who have done it to the degree that Krissy has. Our entire literary scene is richer as a result.
She is not only a wonderful person, she's damn talented, it keeps coming back to that. And, she keeps getting better. I say this without a hint of hyperbole, I think Krissy will be one of the major Australian writers of the next decade. Krissy doesn't need me to say this, of course, it's going to happen if the stars align and publishing doesn't collapse, but I wanted to get in early.
Krissy's the real deal, (like Margo Lanagan or Marianne de Pierres or Tansy Rayner Roberts or dozens of other brilliant writers) and we should count ourselves very lucky that we have her. It's a grand time to be a reader of Australian fiction and Krissy is one of the reasons.
*(pronounced Neen, the K is silent)
Trent Jamieson is the author of the Death Works Trilogy and the Nightbound Land Duology and can be found at http://www.trentjamieson.com