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C. J. Koch (Christopher John Koch) Biography

(1932– ), (Christopher John Koch), The Boys in the Island, Across the Sea Wall

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Knole Kent to Mary Lavin Biography

Australian novelist, born in Hobart, educated at the University of Tasmania. His work, which draws on his experiences in Europe, America, and Asia, reflects a preoccupation with the political and cultural relationships between Australia and the Far East. His first novel, The Boys in the Island (1958; revised 1974) was acclaimed for its sensitive account of growing up in Tasmania and Melbourne. Across the Sea Wall (1965; revised 1982) was set in India and Australia and centres on the relationship between an Australian man and a Latvian girl. Its visionary quality and its themes of disillusionment and the corruption of idealism characterize subsequent works. The Year of Living Dangerously (1978) was widely admired for its complex and dramatic evocation of Jakarta in 1965 on the eve of Sukarno's fall; a film based on the novel appeared in 1982. The Doubleman (1985) vividly evokes the spirit and landscapes of Tasmania. Crossing the Gap: A Novelist's Essays (1987) showed him to be a perceptive social and political observer and offers an illuminating account of his Tasmanian background.

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