Tara Calaby lives in Gippsland with her wife and far too many books. She is currently a PhD candidate at La Trobe University, researching the social worlds of women in Victorian lunatic asylums. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, attempting to learn Danish, and patting other people's dogs. House of Longing is her debut novel.
‘Written through a female lens of empowerment, at its heart House of Longing is about accepting who you are and finding ways to live while working to support the changes you can make.’ * ArtsHub * ‘Tara Calaby’s debut novel, based on her doctoral studies, wears its clearly extensive research lightly as it weaves an engrossing story…Both realistic and hopeful.’ * Australian Book Review * ‘A moving historical feminist and sapphic narrative that illuminates the shadowy corners of 19th-century colonial culture…The novel is carefully researched, and the different sections of society appear in satisfying alternating waves. The shopgirl and the socialite perform a tortured dance that promises a fine happy-ever-after waltz.’ * Age * ‘[Tara Calaby’s] imagination fleshes out experiences that are hard for historians to access; she enters the interior lives of people from the past…Her characters are well-drawn portraits of women inmates, but also of the nuances in their care…A hopeful story about love and courage—which suggests alternative futures for women seeking independence from marriage and social norms.’ * Conversation * ‘A thoroughly enjoyable debut set in 1890s Melbourne, skilfully delivering a tender Sapphic romance and building a world with complex characters and nuanced relationships. Calaby builds an utterly endearing heroine.’ * Big Issue *