May 5, 2021 | in


By Kathryn Heyman

A raw, painfully honest, heartbreaking account of a young woman raising herself out of abuse and poverty to become her own hero.

A roadmap of recovery and transformation, this is the story of becoming heroic in a culture which doesn’t see heroism in the shape of a girl.

At the age of twenty, after a traumatic sexual assault trial, Kathryn Heyman ran away from her life and became a deckhand on a fishing trawler in the Timor Sea.

Coming from a family of poverty and violence, she had no real role models, no example of how to create or live a decent life, how to have hope or expectations. But she was a reader. She understood story, and the power of words to name the world. This was to become her salvation.

After one wild season on board the Ocean Thief, the only girl among tough working men, facing storms, treachery and harder physical labour than she had ever known, Heyman was transformed. Finally, she could name the abuses she thought had broken her, could see ‘all that she had been blind to, simply to survive’. More than that, after a period of enforced separation from the world, she was able to return to it newly formed, determined to remake the role she’d been born into.

A reflection on the wider stories of class, and of growing up female with all its risks and rewards, Fury is a memoir of courage and determination, of fighting back and finding joy.

‘Fury is searing, thrilling and redemptive. This book is a demonstration of how courage and fury and words can save you. They can make you the heroine of your own story.’ ANNA FUNDER, Miles Franklin Prize-winning author of All That I Am

‘I read this book in one jaw-clenching, gut-wrenching, fist-pumping sitting. Distressing, thrilling, immaculate-and vitally important.’ CLARE WRIGHT, Stella Prize-winning author of The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

About the author:

Kathryn Heyman is a novelist, essayist and scriptwriter. Her sixth novel, Storm and Grace, was published to critical acclaim in 2017. Her first novel, The Breaking, was shortlisted for the Stakis Prize for the Scottish Writer of the Year and longlisted for the Orange Prize. Other awards include an Arts Council of England Writers Award, the Wingate Scholarship, the Southern Arts Award, and nominations for the Edinburgh Fringe Critics’ Awards, the Kibble Prize, and the West Australian Premier’s Book Awards, as well as the Copyright Agency Author Fellowship for Fury.

Kathryn Heyman’s several plays for BBC radio include Far Country and Moonlite’s Boy, inspired by the life of bushranger Captain Moonlite. Two of her novels have been adapted for BBC radio: Keep Your Hands on the Wheel as a play and Captain Starlight’s Apprentice as a five-part dramatic serial.

Heyman has held several writing fellowships, including the Scottish Arts Council Writing Fellowship at the University of Glasgow, and a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellowship at Westminster College, Oxford. She taught creative writing for the University of Oxford and is now Conjoint Professor in Humanities at the University of Newcastle. In 2012, she founded the Australian Writers Mentoring Program.

More information at

ISBN: 9781760529376

Publisher: Allen & Unwin