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Tim Winton Biography

(1960– ), An Open Swimmer, Shallows, That Eye, the Sky, In the Winter Dark, Cloudstreet

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick White (Patrick Victor Martindale White) Biography to David Wojahn Biography

Australian writer, born in Perth, educated at Curtin University; he studied creative writing at the Western Institute of Technology under Elizabeth Jolley. He won immediate fame with his first two novels. An Open Swimmer (1982) is a lyrical account of a boy's emergence into manhood, set against vivid descriptions of the sea and landscapes of Western Australia. Shallows (1984) describes the death throes of the whaling industry as it is beset by conservationists, counterpointing the struggle with excerpts from a nineteenth-century family journal. That Eye, the Sky (1986) describes with persuasive insight the experience of a 13-year-old boy caring for his family; In the Winter Dark (1988) reveals Winton's equal insight into the mind of an old and frightened man in a chilling horror story. Cloudstreet (1991), a substantial novel examining the connected lives of two Perth families between 1943 and 1964 and drawing on Winton's own family, is compiled of small, poetically controlled chapters, which create a picture of Australia's vastness. In The Riders (1995) an Australian lovingly restores an Irish cottage and awaits his wife and child, but the young daughter arrives alone and shocked, precipitating a frantic search through Europe for his wife—and the meaning of his life. Via a journey haunted by absence, The Riders explores the collapse of illusions. The narrative is lyrical, vital, and confirms Winton as a writer of considerable talent. His other works include the collections of stories Scission (1985), Minimum of Two (1987), and Blood and Water (1993); his Collected Shorter Novels (1995); and children's fiction.

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