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Rodney Hall Biography

(1935– ), The Australian, Penniless till Doomsday, Forty Beads on a Hangman's Rope, Eyewitness

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Bernard Gutteridge Biography to Hartshill Warwickshire

Australian novelist and poet, born in England; he went to Australia after the Second World War and was educated at the University of Queensland. He was poetry editor of The Australian (196778), and has travelled widely in Europe, Asia, and the USA. His numerous volumes of poetry include Penniless till Doomsday (1962), Forty Beads on a Hangman's Rope (1963), Eyewitness (1967), The Law of Karma (1968), Romulus and Remus (1971), A Soapbox Omnibus (1973), Black Bagatelles (1978), and The Most Beautiful World (1981). His poetry, which is ironic, witty, and displays considerable technical virtuosity, is perhaps less well known than his fiction. Novels include The Ship on the Coin (1972), a satirical allegory attacking the apathy and cruelty of bourgeois society; A Place among People (1975); Just Relations (1982), set in a small Australian town with a gold-mining past, inhabited by a cast of ageing eccentrics; and Kisses of the Enemy (1987), a fable about the troubled relationship between Australia and the USA. Hall has been acclaimed for the scope and inventiveness of his ‘Yandilli Trilogy’ (published in one volume as A Dream More Luminous Than Love, 1994). The first volume, Captivity Captive (1988), about the solving of an 1888 murder, is based on an incident in Queensland; The Second Bridegroom (1991) deals with the early days of Australia's career as a penal colony; while The Grisly Wife (1993) is a gripping tale of cultism and murder.

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