Author bio

Author Image

Sophie Cunningham - book author

Sophie Cunningham is the author of books: Melbourne, City of Trees: Essays on Life, Death and the Need for a Forest, Geography, Warning, The Story of Cyclone Tracy, Bird, Tippy and Jellybean: the True Story of a Brave Koala Who Saved Her Baby From a Bushfire, Meanjin. Vol. 69, no. 3, Boundaries, Meanjin vol 67 no 4, Meanjin 4 2009

Author Signature

Author Books

Melbourne's city life told in diary form, this contemporary and personal portrait depicts major events from the Australian heat wave, which culminated in more than 400 bushfires, to the destructive deluge of a hailstorm. While walking through Melbourne's oldest suburb to its largest market, experiencing an Australian Rules Football game, and attending the comedy festival, writer Sophie Cunningham journeys deep into her own recollections of the city she grew up in, and tells stories from its history. She strolls by Melbourne's rivers and creeks and considers the history of the wetlands and river that sit at Melbourne's heart, for it is water, the corralling of it, the excess of it, the squandering of it, the lack of it that defines Melbourne's history, its present, and its future.
How do we take in the beauty of our planet while processing the losses? What trees can survive in the city? Which animals can survive in the wild? How do any of us—humans, animals, trees—find a forest we can call home?

In these moving, thought-provoking essays Sophie Cunningham considers the meaning of trees and our love of them. She chronicles the deaths of both her fathers, and the survival of P-22, a mountain lion in Griffith Park, Los Angeles; contemplates the loneliness of Ranee, the first elephant in Australia; celebrates the iconic eucalyptus and explores its international status as an invasive species.

City of Trees is a powerful collection of nature, travel and memoir writing set in the context of global climate change. It meanders through, circles around and sometimes faces head on the most pressing issues of the day. It never loses sight of the trees.
When Catherine is working abroad, she meets Michael in Los Angeles.Their time together is brief but intensely passionate. Catherine is seduced into thinking of this casual fling and its aftermath -based on a series of postcards, faxes and e-mail -as a relationship.She says it's not just sex.But her friends say it's not love.

Many years later, on a beach in Sri Lanka, Catherine and her new friend Ruby get to talking about him. 'Tell me,' Ruby says. 'I like stories.' Finally Catherine reveals all about the one who drove her crazy.

Sophie Cunningham's first novel is powerfully raw and incredibly honest. It will remind you how easy it is to cross the line, and how hard it can be to get back.
The sky at the top end is big and the weather moves like a living thing. You can hear it in the cracking air when there is an electrical storm and as the thunder rolls around the sky…

When Cyclone Tracy swept down on Darwin at Christmas 1974, the weather became not just a living thing but a killer. Tracy destroyed an entire city, left seventy-one people dead and ripped the heart out of Australia’s season of goodwill.

For the fortieth anniversary of the nation’s most iconic natural disaster, Sophie Cunningham has gone back to the eyewitness accounts of those who lived through the devastation—and those who faced the heartbreaking clean-up and the back-breaking rebuilding. From the quiet stirring of the service-station bunting that heralded the catastrophe to the wholesale slaughter of the dogs that followed it, Cunningham brings to the tale a novelist’s eye for detail and an exhilarating narrative drive. And a sober appraisal of what Tracy means to us now, as we face more—and more destructive—extreme weather with every year that passes.
Based on a heartwarming true story.

Tippy and her baby Jellybean live in a beautiful eucalyptus forest.
One day, they wake up and sniff the air. It's smokey, hot and windy.

Kangaroos and wallabies are bounding.
Lizards and snakes are slithering.
Wombats are heading to their burrows.
The cockatoos take off in an enormous flock.

Tippy can't hop. Or run. Or fly.
Instead she shelters her baby in the only way she can…

This is the uplifting story of a mother koala who saved her baby from a bushfire, and the dedicated vets who look after them until they are healed and ready to go home.
In our penultimate 70th birthday edition, Meanjin wonders what it takes to make a city: Diana Wells visits Melbourne's ever-shifting outer edge and David Nichols takes a walk through the early housing commission suburb of Doveton. Elizabeth Glickfeld considers Melbourne's latest logo and corporate culture; Rachel Weaver reminds us that, not so long ago, morgues were a place a town's citizens went to be entertained; Michael Harden looks at the impact of the law and policy on the bar and restaurant industry; Chris Womersley talks about place in writing; Ben Eltham paints a portrait of the Nicholas Building, Melbourne's informal artistic hub; and Noni Sharp revisits the legend of the Little Wanderers. Paul Daley investigates the truth behind the Anzac Day myth, Jeremy Fisher surveys e-books and Australian publishing for Meanland and John Potts defends the book from declarations of death. Sophie Cunningham talks to the great travel writer, William Dalrymple; George Dunford diagnoses Second Novel Syndrome; Anthony Macris considers that great film All About Eve; Maria Takolander comes to understand the lessons she's learnt from literature and Matthew Ricketson looks at long form journalism and the legacy of Truman Capote's, In Cold Blood. We have fiction by Jennifer Mills, Simone Lazaroo, Cathy Cole, Natalie Sprite and Belinda Rule.
Writer Sophie Cunningham and photographer Dianna Wells walked drove, rode, sailed, wrote about and photographed the City of Melbourne's boundaries. This chap book is a part of at Arts project funded by the City of Melbourne that includes this chap book, panels and walking tours.