Marilla North was born in 1945 and educated in Newcastle, NSW. She gained Honours in English in the Leaving Certificate at NGHS where she first read Dymphna Cusack’s WWII novel Southern Steel, the book that ignited her passionate commitment to Cusack’s life and work. Marilla completed her MA (Hons) at Wollongong University in 1991 with a dissertation on the Cusack–James’ collaboration, the best seller Come in Spinner. Over the 1990s she lectured in literature and life writing and worked as a freelance journalist and book reviewer. Since 2001 Marilla has taught Australian literature to American students at Boston University’s Sydney Programme. After nearly ten years spent caring for her aged mother, in 2014 Marilla was awarded the Alfred Midgley Post Graduate Fellowship from the University of Queensland enabling her to return to her biographical trilogy on the life and times of Dymphna Cusack. The first edition of Yarn Spinners: A Story in Letters ‒ Dymphna Cusack, Miles Franklin and Florence James (UQP 2001) won the 2001 FAW Biography Prize. She lives with her husband in the upper Blue Mountains, enjoying the creative community of kindred spirits.