Hayley Katzen


Hayley Katzen’s essays have been published in Australian, American and Asian journals and anthologies, including Australian Book Review, Griffith Review, Southerly, Fourth Genre and Kenyon Review. Her debut memoir, Untethered, was published by Ventura Press in May 2020.


Every paddock has its problem

GR OnlineI discovered too how when we were flooded in, isolated for days or weeks, I felt a kind of delighted wonder. Everyone on our side of the creek was ‘in it together’... An external force was responsible for our isolation and I felt accompanied, a solidarity with the locals I knew from firefighting and funerals.

The how matters

MemoirThis story contains descriptions of violence.  ON SATURDAY 15 March 2014, my stepmother Genee was shot twice in her bed in Johannesburg. No. That’s misleading: ‘was shot’ suggests she might still be alive. Genee died on 15 March 2014. No. That’s...

Gods and housework

Essay‘I HAVE NEVER used a vacuum cleaner,’ my ardently intellectual mother says proudly. ‘That was my condition when I agreed to emigrate to Australia.’In the whites-only northern suburbs of 1970s Johannesburg, I too was oblivious to the demands of...

The L-word

MemoirAS I WALKED through the school gate, its posts stencilled with turtles and goannas, towards the classroom where I take Drama Group, I heard someone call out, 'Hey, Hairy Hayley!'I turned in the direction of the voice. Katia, a...

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