I’m a writer, reader, and librarian living in Perth, Western Australia with my wife, Nicole and young son, Thomas. My novel, The Fur, won the T.A.G. Hungerford Award and is published by Fremantle Press. Currently I’m working on a biography of Australian novelist, Katharine Susannah Prichard, for my PhD at the University of Western Australia. I’m in the discipline of English and Cultural Studies and supervised by Tony Hughes D’Aeth and Van Ikin.
Living out her long life a century ahead of me, much of it in Perth, Katharine Susannah Prichard intrigues me. She was a woman of generosity, passion and paradox. She was a great novelist who brought to life communities in her fiction, from timber workers in the south-west of WA to a family circus. Politics is key to her life; she was a founding member of the Australian Communist Party, and lived her life by her convictions. She was also a wife and then widow to a war hero, Hugo Throssell; his suicide followed that of her own father.
Writing a life is a complicated and interesting endeavour, and part of my project is to understand and utilise the possibilities of biography. It is a genre I came to after writing a novel for my MA about a biographical quest. I realised biography is a genre which combines the appeal of narrative with the allure of the archives and the hope of capturing the past.
This blog is about the life and work of Katharine Susannah Prichard, the art and process of writing a biography, and other things which interest me, including autobiographical posts, and reflections on books, film, religion, politics, urban myths, mortality, and found objects. It began in 2007 (although I had another similar blog from 2003 to 2006 which was lost in the great modblog platform meltdown of that year). From January 2014 to March 2017 I maintained a separate biography blog (https://biographerinperth.wordpress.com) before merging the two blogs – all posts from that site have been imported to this one.
This blog has been selected for preservation by the National Library of Australia in its PANDORA web archive project.
I am available to give talks and run workshops on a variety of topics, including the life and legacy of Katharine Susannah Prichard, fiction-writing, and biographical research and writing. I can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Archaeologist,” Westerly Special digital issue: Crossings (2017) [creative non-fiction]
“Relics of Kattie,” Studio (2016) [creative non-fiction]
“‘The Memory of a Storm’: The Wild Oats of Han and the childhood of Katharine Susannah Prichard, 1887 to 1895.” Westerly 60.2 (2015): 116-128. [essay]
“The Zealot.” Review of Australian Fiction 10.2 (2014): 21–50. [short story]
“A History of Vose Library.” In Vose Seminary at Fifty 140–58. Preston, Vic.: Mosaic Press, 2013. [essay]
Vose Seminary at Fifty: From “Preach the Word” to “Come, Grow,” Preston, Vic.: Mosaic Press, 2013. [editor of book with John Olley and Michael O’Neil]
“Death in the Present Tense.” Studio 117 (2010): 19–26. [short story]
“The Tragedy of Robert Wadlow.” DotDotDash 2 (2009): 32–33. [creative non-fiction]
The Fur. Fremantle: Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2004. [novel]