Australian author best remembered for her 1977 international bestseller The Thorn Birds, which was adapted into one of the highest-rated miniseries of all time. Her other works include 1974's Tim, 1981's An Indecent Obsession and 2000's Morgan's Run.
She was born in Wellington, New South Wales and originally studied to become a medical doctor at the University of Sydney.
She taught in the Department of Neurology at Yale Medical School in New Haven, Connecticut from 1967 to 1976.
She married Ric Robinson in 1983. Her younger brother Carl, who drowned at age 25, was the inspiration for a character in The Thorn Birds.
She published a sequel to Jane Austen's classic Pride and Prejudice titled The Independence of Miss Mary Bennet in 2008.