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Born in Brisbane in 1925, Thea Astley studied arts at the University of Queensland. She held a position as Fellow in Australian Literature at Macquarie University until 1980, when she retired to write full time. In 1989 she was granted an honorary doctorate of letters from the University of Queensland. Thea Astley lived and wrote on the New South Wales south coast until her death in 2004. Astley won the Miles Franklin Award four times - in 1962 for The Well Dressed Explorer, in 1965 for The Slow Natives, in 1972 for The Acolyte and in 2000 for Drylands. In 1989 she won the Patrick White Award. Other awards include 1975 Age Book of the Year Award for A Kindness Cup, the 1980 Australian Literature Studies (ALS) Award for Hunting the Wild Pineapple, the 1986 ALS Gold Medal for Beachmasters, the 1988 Steele Rudd Award for It's Raining in Mango, the 1990 NSW Premier's Prize for Reaching Tin River, the 1996 Age Book of the Year Award and the FAW Award for The Multiple Effects of Rainshadow.