Marilla North was born in 1945 in Newcastle, inheriting a family background not unlike the folk at 1 Murray Avenue, Parnell Place, in Dymphna Cusack’s World War II novel, Southern Steel. She worked in education in Canberra in the early 1970s where Australian National University professor AD Hope was a mentor. She published Blue Glass and Turtles’ Eggs (Jacaranda Press) in 1975 – International Women’s Year. She then moved into marketing and public relations. Marilla has conducted national marketing research studies for many companies. She completed a masters degree at the University of Wollongong in 1991 with a dissertation on the bestseller, Come in Spinner (1951). During the 1990s she taught literature and life writing, and ran a marketing consultancy. Since 2001, Marilla has taught Australian literary and cultural history at Boston University’s Sydney Programme. In 2014 Marilla won the Alfred Midgley Post Graduate Fellowship at the University of Queensland to complete her biographical trilogy on the life and times of Dymphna Cusack.