The Australian actor Rose Byrne got her start at the age of 13 when she was cast alongside Sandra Bernhard in Dallas Doll. Following a lead role in the short-lived soap opera, Echo Point, she returned to normal high-school life until she was able to resume her acting career, quickly winning the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the 2000 Venice Film Festival for The Goddess of 1967. A string of high profile roles followed, including in Sofia Coppola’s Marie Antoinette, and Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and 28 Weeks Later, as well as a role in the instant-classic Bridesmaids. She may be best-known for her role as a law school graduate in the FX legal thriller, Damages, in which she starred opposite Glenn Close, and for which she scored two Golden Globe nominations. In an effort to challenge the entertainment industry’s sexism, she is also part of The Dollhouse Collective, an Australian production company that focuses on creating complex lead roles for women. Byrne is just wrapping a stint as the lead in Medea at Brooklyn’s BAM Harvey theater.

Below are Rose Byrne’s favorite books, available to purchase individually or as a set.


Monkey Grip

Helen Garner
My first Helen Garner novel, and it had a profound effect on me. Hot, fresh, plain Australian language. I finally read something that felt familiar.
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The Diary of Anaïs Nin, 1931-1934

Anaïs Nin
My favorite volume of the publication of her diaries. Her candid and arresting narrative is endlessly enticing, romantic and tragic. She captured my imagination so completely.
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Tim Winton
The definitive Australian classic, this is one of my favorite Tim Winton novels: an epic, sprawling and quintessentially antipodean family story.
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Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

Anne Tyler
The masterful Anne Tyler again steals away with the most incredible story of a family unraveling and unfolding with the truths of resentments, failures, jealousy and beauty. Such a thing to behold is Anne Tyler at work. Haunting
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The Fatal Shore

Robert Hughes
The founding of colonial Australia was finally laid bare to me in this dissertation on the bizarre experiment that would become the beginning of modern white Australia. With its brutality and the endlessly shocking facts, it is a truth stranger than any fiction.
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The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Rebecca Skloot 
The rarest of books about the experience of a science writer uncovering and investigating a cell line that changed the world, all while being thrown into a transformative journey of discovering race and racism in America, the culture of African Americans in the USA, and the painful reality of loss and family. A truly remarkable read—and I failed at science. Fascinating and phenomenal, heartbreaking and utterly compelling.
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Wide Sargasso Sea

Jean Rhys
Rhys had the daring idea to give life to the the lady in the attic of Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” An erotic, evocative, sumptuous and beautiful voice liberating Antionette.
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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Judy Blume
Touching the raw, weird and often lonely and terrifying experience of being a teenage girl like no other book I have stumbled across. Quintessential Judy Blume. Magical, moving and iconic.
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The Awakening

Kate Chopin
A landmark work of feminism, which was censored at the time of its release. But more so, it is beautifully written, with an iridescent shimmer—a moving and devastating spiritual tragedy.
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What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Raymond Carver
I always return to Raymond Carver, his dirty realism, his sparse writing and his ambiguity is a joy to read, to drift away with, finding the dark corners and weird places.
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