From among 400 entries overall, Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow is one of five shortlisted titles in the Non-Fiction category of the 2017 the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards. The winner will be announced on 1 December.
Suzanne Falkiner has undertaken extensive research and uncovered new material about an enigmatic novelist and poet who spent his final years as a recluse far from his country of birth. The text ranges from his childhood in wartime rural Western Australia to his formative years studying in Perth through to his years as a wandering ex-pat, and eventually as resident of the port town of Harwich Essex.
Stow’s brilliance was combined with personal battles against depression and mental illness and Falkiner handles this material with respect while never avoiding the truth of the writer’s life. In many ways this is a conventional biography but Falkiner’s curiosity and interest in the social and cultural context in which Stow worked, make it a compelling read.
Suzanne Falkiner’s Mick: A life of Randolph Stow is the first comprehensive biography of one of Australia’s greatest writers. Falkiner has pieced together an intriguing life history, from Stow’s beginnings in rural Western Australia, to his wandering years, and his later retreat into near silence and more-or-less contented obscurity in England. We note the biography’s extraordinary scholarship — involving exhaustive research and expert handling of the material — and its subtle, cumulative sense of this incredibly complex and difficult subject. While Mick is not a ‘lit-crit’ study of Stow’s works, it richly contextualises those works within the broader arc of the writer’s life. It reveals how he wove into his fiction and poetry various strands of his life experiences, travels, relationships, torments and his search for meaning. Stow’s elusiveness makes him an unusually challenging subject for a biographer, and this superb biography has met the challenge.
July 8th, 2017
August 16th, 2016
JOAN IN INDIA is now available as an eBook from Xoum (with extra photos)
November 12th, 2015
Mrs Mort’s Madness
Foreword by Gideon Haigh
The True Story of a Sydney Scandal
Paperback and e-book | 288pp | AUD$24.99
‘Suzanne Falkiner’s Mrs Mort’s Madness is not a cricket book: it is a carefully assembled but highly readable account of a sensational crime. … Nearly a century after it transfixed Sydney, Suzanne has at last rounded the story out.’ —Gideon Haigh
November 5th, 2014
Eugenia: A Man
WITH A NEW CHAPTER: First published in 1988, this new edition of Eugenia: A Man revises and updates the story to include new information that has come to light since then.
Paperback and e-book | 304pp | AUD$24.99
November 4th, 2014
NOW AVAILABLE from
‘While writing about her cousin, Falkiner makes the last few years of the Raj come alive and reverberate. Joan in India is one of those rare books you chance upon that make you glad someone wrote them.’
—Swati Daftuar, THE HINDU TIMES, 3 December 2011
‘..a brave account…’
—Kishore Singh, BUSINESS STANDARD, New Delhi, 28 December 2011
‘This one time, go ahead, judge a book by its cover.’
—Anindita Ghose, Livemint.com & THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
July 19th, 2009
THE IMAGO: E.L. GRANT WATSON & AUSTRALIA
University of Western Australia
1 February 2011
502 pp, PB 234 x 153mm
Literary biography, Western Australian history, Aboriginal history, Anthropological history
In 1910 a young Cambridge-trained biologist, Elliot Lovegood Grant Watson, arrived in Perth to join the controversial anthropologist A.R. Radcliffe-Brown and Daisy Bates on an ethnological expedition into Aboriginal Australia, including the Lock Hospitals of Shark Bay.
The experience changed his life. On his return to England he decided to become a writer.
February 13th, 2009