Malla Nunn: award-winning writer and filmmaker

Malla Nunn is the honoured guest for this week’s Murder Monday. National co-convenor, Karina Kilmore, put Malla through her paces.

(Click on the image below to go to the YouTube recording.) 










Malla has an exotic background. Born and raised in Swaziland, Malla attended a boarding school specially set up for ‘mixed race’ children and spent the holidays roaming the hills of ‘Paradise,’ her grandparents farm. She moved with her parents to Perth in the 1970s. Later, after a double degree from the university of WA and Via Masters from Villanova University, she worked in film in New York, Back in Australia, she began writing and directing short films and corporate videos. Fade to White, Sweetbreeze and Servant of the Ancestor won numerous awards and have been shown at international film festivals from New York to Zanzibar. She married in a traditional Swazi ceremony. Her bride price was eighteen cows. She now lives and works in Sydney.

Malla then turned to crime which was great news for us! A Beautiful Place to Die, her first novel in the Emmanuel Cooper series set in 1950s’ apartheid South Africa, won the Sisters in Crime Davitt Award in 2009. There are now four books in the series.

Her award-winning has not stopped. Her YA mystery, When the Ground is Hard, set in a boarding school in Swaziland,. has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for young-adult literature and the Josette Frank Award for Children’s Literature. It’s currently shortlisted the 2020 shortlisted Children’s Book Council of Australia and Sisters in Crime Davitt Award for Best Young Adult crime novel.

Murders Mondays are available on Sisters in Crime YouTube channel at 6pm on Mondays. Previous guests include Ann Cleeves, Sara Partetsky, Judith Rossell, Sulari Gentill, Sarah Epstein, Mirandi Riwoe, Kerry McGinnis, Kathy Reichs, Ellie Marney, Katherine Kovacic, Candice Fox, Anne Buist, Dervla McTiernan and Val McDermid.