ANU alumna Emma Batchelor drew on her lived experience for her first novel.

“I knew I would one day write about it, but it wasn’t until we separated that I had the time and space to do so.”

Emma Batchelor’s raw exploration of a complicated romantic relationship in her memoir Now That I See You deals with identity, gender, sexuality, love, partnership, grief and mental health.  

After completing a Bachelor of Medical Science (Hons) at The Australian National University (ANU) and taking many gap years to work and travel, she eventually pursued her dream to be a writer. Now That I See You is her first novel, which is the 2021 winner of The Australian/Vogel Literary Award. The prize money, $20,000, is the most awarded for an unpublished manuscript in Australia. The winner’s work is published by Allen & Unwin.

Emma Batchelor. Photo: Jesse Petrie

“The idea originated from and is based on my experience of my own partner’s transition from presenting as male to female,” Emma says.

“I took our actual letters and my journal entries and used them as a scaffold from which to build the story. It was also important to me not to speak for my partner or to tell her story.”

Now That I See You details the breakdown of a long-term relationship after one partner discloses to the other that they are transgender. The story is told from the perspective of a female narrator over a period of 18 months, beginning with the discovery of unknown feminine hairs in her male partner’s bathroom. 
 
“This is my lived experience. Being in a relationship with a transgender person, suffering a mental illness and eventually getting myself back together,” Emma says.

More information is available at Allen and Unwin

You may also like

Article Card Image

Fashion, sex and drag: Vivienne Westwood’s queer legacy

From an infamous cowboy t-shirt to RuPaul’s Drag Race, Vivienne Westwood’s impact on the queer community cannot be understated.

Article Card Image

From killer robot to sweatshop boss: Santa on screen

Science fiction portrayals of Santa Claus range from sinister to downright bizarre.

Article Card Image

Top diplomat and Indigenous songwriter honoured with ANU degrees 

One of Australia’s most decorated diplomats and a member of the ARIA Hall of Fame are among those who have been celebrated with honorary degrees from ANU this week, as part of the University’s end-of-year graduation ceremonies.

Subscribe to ANU Reporter

Anu Logo

+61 2 6125 5111

The Australian National University, Canberra

CRICOS Provider: 00120C

ABN: 52 234 063 906

EDX Logo
APRU Logo
IARU Logo
Group of eight Australia Logo