Nicholas Hasluck Biography
(1942– ), Quarantine, The Blue Guitar, The Hand that Feeds You, The Bellarmine Jug, Truant State
Australian poet and novelist, born in Canberra, educated at the University of Western Australia. His first novel, Quarantine (1978), was followed by The Blue Guitar (1980), which deals with moral confusion in the world of commerce. The Hand that Feeds You (1982) is a political satire about a future corrupt republican Australia to which an innocent expatriate writer returns and gets elected to Parliament. The Bellarmine Jug (1984), perhaps his best novel, concerns the 1629 mutiny and massacre perpetrated in Australia by a party from a shipwrecked Dutch vessel. Truant State (1987) is set in Western Australia at the time of secession and involves the financial ruin of an English immigrant family. The Country Without Music (1990) is set in a group of islands, formerly a French penal settlement, and concerns the visit of a group of twentieth-century Australian businessmen, who plan to build a tourist centre there. The Blosseville File (1992) explores political corruption in a fictional ex-colony; A Grain of Truth (1994) is a crime story exposing influences on the law of political interests and the distortions of truth effected by skilful advocacy. Other works include The Hat on the Letter O and Other Stories (1978); Anchor and Other Poems (1976); On the Edge (1980; with William Grono); Chinese Journey (1985; with C. J. Koch), a collection of prose writings; Collage: Recollections of the Universe of Western Australia (1987); and Offcuts from a Legal Literary Life (1993), autobiographical writings from his distinguished legal career.