Tulloch, Lee 1954(?)-
TULLOCH, Lee 1954(?)-
Born c. 1954, in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; daughter of Betty Tulloch; married Tony Amos (a photographer); children: Lolita. Education: Attended Melbourne University.
Home—Sydney, Australia. Agent—c/o The Text Publishing, 171 La Trobe St., Melbourne, Victoria, 3000, Australia.
Novelist and fashion writer. Politician's assistant; model; freelance writer for Cleo (Australia), Details (USA), Harper's Bazaar (Australia), New York Times, Woman's Day (Australia), Elle (Australia), and Vogue (Australia); Harper's Bazaar (Australia), founding editor in chief, ended 1985; Elle (Australia), editor at large. Ambassador for the Melbourne Fashion Festival.
Short list, Commonwealth Writers' Prize, 1990, for Fabulous Nobodies.
Fabulous Nobodies, Morrow (New York, NY), 1989.
Wraith, Text Publishing (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.
Two Shanes, Text Publishing (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.
The Cutting, Text Publishing (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2003.
WORK IN PROGRESS:
Adapting novel Fabulous Nobodies for presentation as a play; writing a new novel set in New York City during the year 1937; follow-ups to her murder mystery The Cutting, set in the fictitious town of Nullin.
Lee Tulloch began her writing career as a writer for fashion magazines such as Vogue (Australia) and Woman's Day (Australia). She eventually worked her way up to the position of founding editor in chief of Harper's Bazaar (Australia), but since leaving that job in 1985, she has become better known for skewering the fashion world in her satirical novels than for reporting on it. While she was born, raised, and began her career in Australia, after leaving her position at Harper's Bazaar, Tulloch lived abroad with her husband and daughter in countries including the United States and France. Tulloch and her family lived in New York City for more than a decade, and were living in the neighborhood of TriBeCa—very close to the World Trade Center—when the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, occurred; shortly thereafter, the family decided to return to Australia, and currently live in the country's largest city, Sydney.
Tulloch's first book, Fabulous Nobodies, stars Reality Nirvana Tuttle, a young woman whose life centers around fashion and her job as the "doorwhore" at New York's Less Is More nightclub—the hippest nightclub in town—where Reality, or "Really" as she is known to her friends, determines who gains entrance and who doesn't. "If you have a taste for frivolity, humor and Manolo Blahnik sling-backs, you will be enthralled" by Fabulous Nobodies, Cynthia Heimel wrote in the New York Times. But the book is more than just "lighthearted," a reviewer commented in Publishers Weekly; it is also a "devastatingly accurate and witty social satire."
Tulloch's next novel, Wraith, is a darker, more brooding satire, once again using the New York fashion scene as its backdrop. The novel opens with the death of one-named modeling sensation Berenger; her personal assistant Nile, who is a frumpy size fourteen, sits in jail awaiting trial for Berenger's murder. From her place in jail, Nile shares stories of her life with Berenger, Berenger's rich eighty-two-year-old husband Aaron Karsner, and Karsner's grandson (also Berenger's ex-boyfriend) Addam. The novel is at heart a murder mystery, but "it is also a piece of female Gothic, a tale of deaths, apparitions, family inheritances, confusions of identity and questions of who to trust and who to believe," Phillipa Hawker wrote in Australian Book Review. As Tulloch herself explained to Daily Telegraph interviewer Lucy Clark, "Whereas Fabulous Nobodies was a pure satire on people who are obsessed with clothes, this one is more sardonic, the humor is more pointed and the voice is a little more twisted."
Tulloch's third novel, Two Shanes, has been variously described as a remake of the Shakespearean play The Comedy of Errors and of Oscar Wilde's novel The Importance of Being Earnest. Two Australian expatriates in New York, Shane Dekker and Cheyne Burdekin, the former a washed-up surfer and the latter an up-and-coming film star, are frequently confused for each other, "leading to a multiplicity of confrontations that drive the novel to its unexpected climax," Geoff Parkes explained in Journal of Australian Studies.
More recently, Tulloch has begun what she plans to be a series of murder mysteries set in the fictitious Australian town of Nullin. In The Cutting, the first book of the planned series, protagonist Heidi Go and her husband Beckett have recently moved to the tiny town from Sydney when Heidi stumbles across the ritually murdered body of a well-known young local woman. In The Cutting, "Tulloch demonstrates a genuine talent for scenes that are unsettlingly eerie and suspenseful," declared Sydney Morning Herald reviewer Christine Cremen.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Advertiser (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), April 3, 1999, Samela Harris, review of Wraith, p. A25.
Age (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), August 23, 2003, Steve Dow, Claire Halliday, and Jason Steger, "Writer in Residence."
Australian Book Review, July, 1999, Philippa Hawker, review of Wraith, pp. 28-29.
Bulletin with Newsweek, May 15, 2001, Judith White and Peter Pierce, review of Two Shanes, p. 73.
Daily Telegraph (Surry Hills, New South Wales, Australia), February 6, 1999, Lucy Clark, review of Wraith, p. 120.
Herald Sun (Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), February 13, 1999, Claire Heany, interview with Tulloch, p. 21; May 1, 1999, review of Fabulous Nobodies, p. 12.
Journal of Australian Studies, December 15, 2001, Geoff Parkes, review of Two Shanes, p. 143.
Library Journal, April 15, 1989, Rosellen Brewer, review of Fabulous Nobodies, p. 101.
New York Times, June 11, 1989, Cynthia Heimel, review of Fabulous Nobodies, p. 14.
Publishers Weekly, February 17, 1989, Sybil Steinberg, review of Fabulous Nobodies, p. 65.
Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), Christine Cremen, July 12, 2003, review of The Cutting.
Weekend Australian (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), January 30, 1999, Susan Kurosawa, review of Wraith, p. R13; April 21, 2001, David Matthews, review of Two Shanes, p. R15.
General Thinking Web site,http://www.generalthinking.com/ (November 18, 2003), profile of Lee Tulloch.
State Library of Victoria Web Site,http://www.statelibrary.vic.gov/ (October 27, 2003), "Writers on the Road: Lee Tulloch."*