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Born in Karrinyup, Western Australia, Tim Winton completed his high school education at Albany. Determined to be a writer from an early age, Winton subsequently studied creative writing at the West Australian Institute of Technology (now Curtin University). He became a professional writer and household name when, at the age of 21, he shared first prize in the 1981 Australian/Vogel National Literary Award for a manuscript that became An Open Swimmer (1982).
Several other books followed in the 1980s and he won his first Miles Franklin Award in 1984 for Shallows. He travelled overseas with his wife and young family in the late 1980s, but his work retained a strong attachment to the coastal regions of Western Australia, especially the areas around which he grew up. He returned to Western Australia to purchase a house on the coast and won his second Miles Franklin Literary Award in 1992, for Cloudstreet.
Nearly twenty years later, he was to adapt this novel for the screen with American writer Ellen Fontana, as the three-part series Cloudstreet, which won him a Western Australian Premier's Book Awards (Scripts) and drew nominations for both AACTA Awards and Logie Awards.
Winton has written a number of children's books; his award-winning 'Lockie Leonard Series' (published between 1990 and 1997) was adapted for television in 2007 as Lockie Leonard.
Winton has continued to draw international readerships and awards. His novels have been published in England and the United States of America, translated into a number of languages and adapted for the stage, television, and film. Among many other awards, The Riders was short-listed for the Booker Prize and he received his third Miles Franklin Literary Award for Dirt Music in 2002 and his fourth for Breath in 2008.
A passionate campaigner for social and environmental causes, Winton has held the post of vice-president of the Australian Marine Conservation Society and was the inaugural winner of the ASA Medal in recognition of his contribution to saving Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia. His autobiographical meditation, Land's Edge (1993), was accompanied by the photography of Trish Ainslie and Roger Garwod, and he has also contributed text and memoirs to several other books of photography, including Bill Bachmann's Local Colour (1994) and Richard Woldendrop's Down to Earth (1999). In 2016, he had a species of fish from the Kimberley region named after him, and in March 2017, he was named patron of the new Native Australian Animals Trust.
'The remarkable true stories in The Boy Behind the Curtain reveal an intimate and rare view of Tim Winton’s imagination at work and play.
'A chronicler of sudden turnings, brutal revelations and tender sideswipes, Tim Winton has always been in the business of trouble. In his novels chaos waits in the wings and ordinary people are ambushed by events and emotions beyond their control. But as these extraordinarily powerful memoirs show, the abrupt and the headlong are old familiars to the author himself, for in many ways his has been a life shaped by havoc.
'In The Boy Behind the Curtain Winton reflects on the accidents, traumatic and serendipitous, that have influenced his view of life and fuelled his distinctive artistic vision. On the unexpected links between car crashes and religious faith, between surfing and writing, and how going to the wrong movie at the age of eight opened him up to a life of the imagination. And in essays on class, fundamentalism, asylum seekers, guns and the natural world he reveals not only the incidents and concerns that have made him the much-loved writer he is, but some of what unites the life and the work.
'By turns impassioned, funny, joyous, astonishing, this is Winton’s most personal book to date, an insight into the man who’s held us enthralled for three decades and helped us reshape our view of ourselves. Behind it all, from risk-taking youth to surprise-averse middle age, has been the crazy punt of staking everything on becoming a writer.' (Publication summary)
'This apparently simple fact is the starting point for Tim Winton's beautiful, evocative and sometimes provocative memoir of how this unique landscape has shaped him and his writing.
'For over thirty years, Winton has written novels in which the natural world is as much a living presence as any character. What is true of his work is also true of his life: from boyhood, his relationship with the world around him – rockpools, seacaves, scrub and swamp – was as vital as any other connection. Camping in hidden inlets of the south-east, walking in the high rocky desert fringe, diving at Ningaloo Reef, bobbing in the sea between sets, Winton has felt the place seep into him, with its rhythms, its dangers, its strange sustenance, and learned to see landscape as a living process.
'Island Home is the story of how that relationship with the Australian landscape came to be, and how it has determined his ideas, his writing and his life. It is also a passionate exhortation for all of us to feel the ground beneath our feet. Much more powerfully than a political idea, or an economy, Australia is a physical entity. Where we are defines who we are, in ways we too often forget to our detriment, and the country's.
'Wise, rhapsodic, exalted – Island Home is not just a brilliant, moving insight into the life and art of one of our finest writers, but a compelling investigation into the way our country makes us who we are.' (Publication summary)
'Eyrie tells the story of Tom Keely, a man who’s lost his bearings in middle age and is now holed up in a flat at the top of a grim highrise, looking down on the world he’s fallen out of love with. He’s cut himself off, until one day he runs into some neighbours: a woman he used to know when they were kids, and her introverted young boy. The encounter shakes him up in a way he doesn’t understand. Despite himself, Keely lets them in. What follows is a heart-stopping, groundbreaking novel for our times – funny, confronting, exhilarating and haunting – populated by unforgettable characters. It asks how, in an impossibly compromised world, we can ever hope to do the right thing..' (Publisher's blurb)