3. Author and Works
Garry Disher is "one of Australia´s best and most innovative story writers" (ABR), a prolific contemporary author, whose fiction often reflects his great interest in history as well as his capacity for narrative based on detailed research.
Born in South Australia in 1949 Garry Disher grew up on his parents’ wheat and wool farm and attended the local high school. In Year 12 he left Burra High for Adelaide Boy's High. Disher later confessed that: "going from a co-ed school of 130 in a town where you knew everyone to a boys-only school of about a 1000 in the Big City " was a real " culture shock". Here he felt for the first time an outsider.
After doing first-year English at Adelaide University Garry switched to Australian history and philosophy. In 1971, he graduated with a BA from Adelaide University. During 1972 and 1973 he made a two-year working holiday travelling extensively, living and working in the UK, Europe, Israel and Africa before he settled in Melbourne to complete an MA in Australian History at Monash and went on to further study at La Trobe University.
In the meantime, Disher had begun writing short stories for literary magazines and was awarded a creative writing fellowship to Stanford University, California, in 1978. It was here that he wrote his first collection of short stories. From 1980 to 1988, he taught creative writing part-time to supplement his writing income. Since then he has been a full-time writer and has published over thirty highly-praised books for both adults and children.
In the course of time Garry Disher has gained acclaim in various literary genres including numerous anthology stories, the Wyatt crime novels 1), children's books, short stories, historical works, creative writing guides and literary novels. Disher´s work has received numerous awards and honours. Thus he is the recipient of the 1986 National Short Story Award for 'Amateur Hour'; the 1991 Alan Marshall Award for 'Poor Reception'; and the 1991 Henry Lawson Award for 'Dead Eye'.
His novel for children, 'The Bamboo Flute', won the 1993 Children’s Book Council (CBC) Book of the Year Award for Younger Readers, was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Award, and finally voted one of the best books of the year by Publisher’s Weekly USA.
Disher, The Divine Wind
Garry says about his
books and stories: "They reflect my interest in Australia’s
past and the effects of war and hardship on ordinary people".
His novels 'The Apostle Bird' (1997) and 'The Divine Wind' (1998)
were highly acclaimed by critics and the latter was shortlisted
for The 1999 Australian Book Council Award and won The Ethel Turner
prize for Young Adult Fiction. Meanwhile some of his novels have
been translated into German. In 2002 Disher won the German "
Krimipreis" for his crime novel "Der Drachenmann"
(The Dragon Man", 1999). The author now lives and works in
a farmhouse on the Mornington Peninsula at Merricks North.
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