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Louis Nowra Biography

(1950– ), Albert Names Edward, Inner Voices, Visions, Sunrise, The Golden Age, Summer of the Aliens, Cosi

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: New from Tartary to Frank O'connor

Australian playwright, born in Melbourne, educated at La Trobe University. An anti-naturalistic writer, he has attracted considerable attention for his structural skill, his emblematic effects, and his exploration of isolated individuals. Albert Names Edward (1976) deals with the manipulation of an amnesiac; Inner Voices (1977) concerns Ivan, heir to the Russian throne who has been kept prisoner since infancy by his mother Catherine II; Visions (perf. 1978; pub. 1979) centres on a nineteenth-century Paraguayan dictator. All these plays concern powerful figures who control language and information to further their ambitions. Later plays have dealt with the relationship between European and Aboriginal culture; these include Sunrise (1983), and The Golden Age (1985) which concerns the discovery and subsequent destruction of a lost tribe of white Europeans in Tasmania. More recent plays include Summer of the Aliens (1992, for radio), about a boy growing up in working-class Melbourne; Cosi (1992), concerning an attempt to perform Cosi Fan Tutte in a psychiatric hospital; The Temple (1993), which satirizes 1980s Australian consumer excess; Radiance (1993), about three Aboriginal sisters who reunite to bury their mother; and Crow (1994). The Cheated (1979) is a collection of newspaper reports of catastrophes. A novel, The Misery of Beauty (1976), is narrated by a grotesque character called Frogman and describes his relationship with his master, a magician named Earl.

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