Jessie Cole is the author of four books. Her first novel, Darkness on the Edge of Town, was shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and longlisted for the Dobbie Literary Award. Her second novel, Deeper Water, was released in 2014 to critical acclaim. Staying: A Memoir was longlisted for the 2019 Colin Roderick Award and shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction. Her new memoir, Desire, A Reckoning, is out now.

‘A gorgeous journey of a writer seeking out the inaccessible part of herself, of those she loves, and who love her back, and of the forest that holds them all together. Desire is a book of intellectual and emotional depth, exploring the flesh and nerves and sinew — as a mother, a lover, a friend and soothsayer. A tender joy of a book, about life and death, and of all the great pulls in between. Raw and fascinating writing that shimmers with truth and beauty at once. A confession, a lament, a celebration — I cannot recommend this enough.’ Tara June Winch, author of The Yield

What kind of writer enables the reader to inhabit the author’s body? Jessie Cole can make anything from the curl of a leaf to a broken heart remarkable. No author writes about ecological, bodily and relationship grief as tenderly as she does. In Desire Jessie brings us home to the forest, sharing the beauty, danger and wonderment of this intimate world.’ Laura Jean McKay, author of The Animals in That Country

‘I read Desire in one sitting and haven’t stopped thinking about it since. Jessie Cole has written a triumph of a book, unlike any other. You will see yourself on these brilliant pages, a lit-up version you thought you’d left hidden in the dark. They will call Desire brave and vulnerable, a tell-all. But really it is a gift, a risk, a body, a revelation of electric prose. Cole has written a love story. She has shown us what it looks like to believe yourself.’ Sarah Sentilles, author of Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours

‘Trust Cole to give us the magic of a deeply embodied book. Prose so vital it seems to breathe and dance from the page. This is a beautiful memoir.’ Sarah Krasnostein, author of The Trauma Cleaner and The Believer

‘Luminous with honesty. Revelatory.’ Nikki Gemmell, author of Dissolve

‘Jessie Cole is a delight. I don’t know how she does it. She drags the gnarliest anchors from the heaviest depths and throws light on the hardest of places — her prose shimmers with warmth and breathtaking honesty. Desire is about the mystery of our bodies, how the wiring can get crossed, connections lost and one woman’s delicate unstitching to find herself.’ Anna Krien, author of Act of Grace

‘Jessie Cole is peerless in Australian letters; for me, she is the master chronicler of hidden psychic spaces. Her exquisite new memoir compels, startles and affirms the arterial centre that is desire.’ Ellena Savage, author of Blueberries

‘A wounded, lovely, luminous book about grief, trauma and the strange healing potential of words.’ Tim Winton

Staying is rich and complex – and often surprisingly funny given its dark subject matter. Above all, this memoir is a meditation on what it means to be traumatised by loss, and ultimately to be healed by life.’ Sydney Morning Herald

‘When Australia’s cultural narratives insist an artist must leave home to succeed, Cole shows one forged by staying put. She still inhabits her fallen Eden today. It’s surprising that, in the midst of such sorrow, what resounds is a sensation of fecundity. But perhaps it’s not, from a writer of such talent and grace.’ The Saturday Paper

‘It is a ­literary achievement, but always a human story. Its message is that life has a tenacious power to draw us out of states of bereavement that, if surrendered to, have the capacity to destroy us ­entirely … The challenge is the one Cole meets and betters­ in this lovely, sad, sometimes luminous memoir: to hold the brokenness that grief ­creates without becoming broken oneself. To find consolation in remaining unconsoled.’ The Weekend Australian

Deeper Water is a fine and elegantly written novel from an impressive writer.’ Weekend Australian

Deeper Water delivers on its title’s promise of immersion, sensuality, and the liminal … a compelling examination of our relationship with nature.” Australian Book Review

“One of the stand-out debuts of 2012.”

Adelaide Advertiser

“Jessie Cole’s debut novel Darkness on the Edge of Town is on another level of storytelling altogether … It’s exquisite writing. Graceful, revealing, pitch perfect. Cole is an author who pays sharp attention to the world around her. And she deserves to have the world pay her some attention in return.” Australian