Blanche D'Alpuget Biography
(1944– ), Monkeys in the Dark, The Year of Living Dangerously, Turtle Beach, Winter in Jerusalem
Australian writer, born in Sydney, the daughter of Lou d'Alpuget, a well-known Sydney journalist; she herself worked as a journalist, and lived in Malaysia and Indonesia for a number of years. Her first novel, Monkeys in the Dark (1980), about a young Australian journalist's involvement with an Indonesian activist in the aftermath of the 1965 coup in Jakarta, has affiliations with Christopher Koch's The Year of Living Dangerously (1978) in its exploration of Australia's relationship with the Far East. It was followed by the highly successful and award-winning Turtle Beach (1981), whose central character is also a journalist, which continued this broad focus in its examination of the traumatic connections between Vietnamese refugees in Malaysia and the Australian officials involved in their resettlement. Winter in Jerusalem (1986) describes a young woman's search for a deeper understanding of the city of her birth and her attempts to write a successful screenplay. White Eye (1994) is a murder mystery. Non-fiction works include a biography of Sir Richard Kirby (1977) and an acclaimed study of Australia's then Prime Minister, Robert J. Hawke (1982).