Department of English

Professor Yasmine Gooneratne

Yasmine GooneratneEmail:


AO, BA Ceylon, PhD Camb, DLitt Macq


Professor Gooneratne holds a Personal Chair in English. She was Foundation Director of the Post-Colonial Literatures and Language Research Centre at Macquarie University 1988-1993 and was awarded the Order of Australia for distinguished service to literature and education in 1990. She is Patron of the Jane Austen Society of Australia and Vice-President of the Federation Internationale des Langues et Litteratures Modernes. Her principal research interests are in eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, in modern English literature of Asia, in post-colonial literature, film and fiction, and in biography.

Among her many books are Jane Austen; Alexander Pope; Silence, Exile and Cunning: the Fiction of Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; Jane Austen: Sense and Sensibility; Diverse Inheritance: a Personal Perspective on Commonwealth Literature; English Literature in Ceylon 1815-1878: the Development of Anglo-Ceylonese Literature. She is interested in both the writing and the study of biography and has published Relative Merits: a Personal Memoir of the Bandaranaike Family of Sri Lanka. She also teaches and practices creative writing, and is the author of two novels, A Change of Skies, winner of the 1992 Marjorie Barnard Literary Award for Fiction, and The Pleasures of Conquest, shortlisted for the 1995 Commonwealth Writers Prize. A selection of her poems was published as Celebrations and Departures: Selected Poems 1951-1992.

Professor Gooneratne's manuscripts and papers have been acquired by the National Library of Australia as part of the Australian Manuscripts Archive. They are accessible on