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Cassandra Pybus Cassandra Pybus i(A12250 works by)
Born: Established: 1947 ;
Gender: Female
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Cassandra Pybus completed her PhD on history and social change in the work of C Vann Woodward and Robert Penn Warren at the University of Sydney in 1978. She worked as an academic and policy adviser to government before becoming a full-time writer in 1985. During the 1990s, Pybus wrote a number of highly-acclaimed (and sometimes controversial) books, including Gross Moral Turpitude (1993), The White Rajah (1996) and The Devil and James McAuley (2000). In addition to these books, she also wrote two volumes of autobiography, Till Apples Grow on an Orange Tree (1998) and Raven Road (2001). In 2006 Pybus published Black Founders: The Unknown Story of Australia's First Black Settlers which was shortlisted for the Community Relations Commission Prize in the 2006 New South Wales Premier's Awards.

In addition to her own works, Pybus has been involved in magazine publishing as editor of the literary magazine Island (1989-1994) and founding editor of the electronic forum, Australian Humanities Review (1996- ). Since 2000, she has worked as a research fellow at several institutions, including the University of Tasmania and the Georgetown University. In 2007, her book, Black Founders : The Unknown Story of Australia's First Black Settlers (2006) was shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier's History Awards, Australian History Prize.

Most Referenced Works


  • With Hamish Maxwell Stewart (q.v.), Pybus published American Citizens, British Slaves : Yankee Political Prisoners in an Australian Penal Colony 1839-1850 (MUP, 2002), which deals with the history of American citizens sent as convicts to Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land).

Personal Awards

2020 recipient Australia Council Grants, Awards and Fellowships Arts Projects for Individuals and Groups $28,000
2005 Australia Council Literature Board Grants Grants for Established Writers $50,000 for non-fiction.
Centenary Medal For outstanding contribution to Tasmanian and Australian literature and education

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Truganini : Journey through the Apocalypse Crows Nest : Allen and Unwin , 2020 18268689 2020 single work biography

'Cassandra Pybus' ancestors told a story of an old Aboriginal woman who would wander across their farm on Bruny Island, just off the coast of south-east Tasmania, throughout the 1850s and 1860s. As a child, Cassandra didn't know this woman was Truganini, and that she was walking over the country of her clan, the Nuenonne, of whom she was the last.

'The name of Truganini is vaguely familiar to most Australians as 'the last of her race'. She has become an international icon for a monumental tragedy: the extinction of the original people of Tasmania within her lifetime. For nearly seven decades, she lived through a psychological and cultural shift more extreme than most human imaginations could conjure. She is a hugely significant figure in Australian history and we should know about how she lived, not simply that she died. Her life was much more than a regrettable tragedy.

'Cassandra has examined the original eyewitness records to write an extraordinary account of this lively, intelligent, sensual young woman’s life. Both inspiring and heart-wrenching, Truganini's story is now told in full for the first time.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

2018 winner Australian Centre Literary Awards Peter Blazey Fellowship
2021 shortlisted Prime Minister's Literary Awards Non-Fiction
2021 winner National Biography Award
2021 shortlisted Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) Australian Biography of the Year
2021 shortlisted Indie Awards Nonfiction
2020 shortlisted Queensland Literary Awards Non-Fiction Book Award
2020 longlisted 'The Nib': CAL Waverley Library Award for Literature
y separately published work icon The Devil and James McAuley St Lucia : University of Queensland Press , 1999 Z337532 1999 single work criticism Focuses on McAuley as a 'political ideologist and cold war warrior' rather than as a poet and critic and concentrates on his involvement, during the war, with A. A. Conlon's Directorate of Research and Civil Affairs and, post-war, with the Democratic Labor Party, the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom and the journal Quadrant. Attempts to explain two important forces in McAuley's life - his religious conversion and his passionate opposition to communism - in terms of a profound belief in the devil . Attributes the former to his encounter, in New Guinea, with Catholic Archbishop Alain de Boismenu, whose story of the nun and mystic Marie-Therese Noblet , believed to be possessed by the devil., made a profound impact on McAuley. Views his political stance as that of a Catholic convert who projected 'his own deep personal torment onto the Devil and Communist agents in the service of the Devil'. (Dust-jacket)
2000 winner Festival Awards for Literature (SA) National Non-Fiction Award
y separately published work icon Gross Moral Turpitude : The Orr Case Reconsidered Port Melbourne : Heinemann Australia , 1993 Z1252278 1993 single work non-fiction

'A reassessment of the case of Sydney Sparkes Orr, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tasmania, who was dismissed in 1956 for allegedly seducing a female student. His dismissal provoked extensive debate on intellectual freedom.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

1993 winner Colin Roderick Award
Last amended 15 Nov 2021 11:30:53
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