Isla Morley grew up in South Africa during apartheid, the child of a British father and fourth-generation South African mother. During the country’s State of Emergency, she graduated from Nelson Mandela University in Port Elizabeth with a degree in English Literature. By 1994 she was one of the youngest magazine editors in South Africa, but left career, country and kin when she married an American and moved to California. For more than a decade she pursued a career in non-profit work, focusing on the needs of women and children. Isla Morley has lived in some of the most culturally diverse places of the world, including Johannesburg, London and Honolulu. Now in Los Angeles, she shares a home with her husband, daughter, three cats and five tortoises.
Her debut novel, Come Sunday, won the Janet Heidinger Prize for fiction and was a finalist for the Commonwealth Prize. It has been translated into seven languages. Her novel, Above was an IndieNext Pick, a Best Buzz Book and a Publishers Weekly Best New Book. The Last Blue is her third novel. Inspired by the fascinating real case of “the Blue People of Kentucky,” it is a captivating love story and an intimate portrait of what it is like to be truly one of a kind.
Her books have received critical acclaim in print and online. “Morley brings a pathos palpable in its authenticity and a maturity arresting in its conviction. Firmly establishing her in the pantheon of such insightful authors as Chris Bohjalian, Sue Miller, and Anita Shreve, Morley’s poignant, read-in-one-sitting tale of loss and renewal will haunt readers” (Booklist, starred review). “A compelling tale of survival, reinvention and hope. Vivid and poignant” (The Boston Globe). “Morley is a stunning storyteller” (The Daily Beast). “An arresting, heart-wrenching novel” (The San Diego Tribune). “An intense and ambitious novel and an exquisitely detailed exploration of the mother-daughter bond” (Los Angeles Magazine). “Morley scores with an audacious page-turner…a stellar and surprising read” (Publishers Weekly). “Emotionally true, surprisingly action-packed, and quite harrowing… definitely a page-turner” (Psychology Today). “Can someone make a film adaptation, please?” (Cosmopolitan).
Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize for Fiction
|Book Title 2
The Last Blue
available May 5, 2020