Mapping Forgotten Worlds: a conversation with Danielle Clode




Edith Coleman, bushfires, French explorers, Danielle Clode


Danielle Clode is an Adelaide-based author who has written on prehistoric megafauna, Pacific exploration, killer whales and bushfires. She writes children’s books, essays, fiction and popular zoology, which have won awards, fellowships and prizes too numerous to mention. Her latest book, at the time of writing, is The Wasp and the Orchid, a biography of Australian nature writer Edith Coleman. Danielle and I have known each other for some years, and we are currently working together on an edited book about first contact between Australian Aboriginal people and explorers. For details of her publications and career, see her website at

A graduate in zoology from Oxford University, Danielle has worked as a zookeeper and a museum researcher. Growing up on the Eyre Peninsula, South Australia, she spent some of her childhood travelling coastal Australia with her family by boat. Danielle teaches creative and academic writing and in all her work she is conscious of the importance of form and voice. In this interview I asked her about style, genre and technique in her writing, particularly The Wasp and the Orchid (2018), Voyages to the South Seas: In Search of Terres Australes (2007) and A Future in Flames (2010).

We spoke at her home in the Adelaide Hills in June 2018, and I first asked her about the combination of styles in A Future in Flames, her book about the history, science and future impact of bushfires in Australia.

Author Biography

Gillian Dooley, Flinders University

Gillian Dooley is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow in English at Flinders University. Her publications include V.S. Naipaul, Man and Writer (2006) and J.M. Coetzee and the Power of Narrative (2010). She is the General Editor of the journal Transnational Literature and a regular book reviewer for Australian Book Review.
Danielle Clode