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Brian Castro Brian Castro i(A5761 works by) (a.k.a. Brian Albert Castro)
Born: Established: 1950 Hong Kong,
East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1961
Heritage: Chinese ; Portuguese ; English
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Brian Castro was born at sea, between Macao and Hong Kong. His father was descended from Spanish, Portuguese and English merchants who settled in Shanghai at the turn of the century. He is also of Chinese descent through his mother, the daughter of a Chinese farmer and an English missionary. He has published in English, which was first taught him by his maternal grandmother but his first language was Cantonese Chinese, followed by English, Mecanese (a 'hybrid' Portuguese spoken in Macao) and French.

After arriving in Australia, he attended boarding school in Sydney and gained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sydney in 1971 and a Master of Arts degree from the University of Sydney in 1976. A secondary teacher until 1976, he spent one year teaching at the Lycée Technique Aulnay-sous-Bois, Paris. He returned to teaching for a period and then became a part-time milk deliverer and writer in the Blue Mountains. He won first prize in the 1973 Sydney University Short Story Competition and in the 1981 Nepean Review Short Story Competition. He has given public addresses, lectures and readings of his work at the Fellowship of Australian Writers (FAW), Katoomba, in 1982, the Multicultural Writers' Conference, Sydney, in 1984, Mitchell College and Orange Town Hall, in 1985, The Sydney Biennale, Art Gallery of NSW, in 1988, the Université de Paris, Nanterre, in 1988, The Université de Rouen in 1988 and at the Université de Toulous-Le Mirail, Toulouse, in 1988.

Also in 1988, Birds of Passage was translated into Chinese by Li Yao, President of the Writer's Association of Inner Mongolia, as was his other award winning novel, After China. In 1994 he was writer-in-residence at the University of Hong Kong and in the latter part of 1995 he was Writing Fellow at the Australian National University, the University of Canberra and University College, Australian Defence Force Academy.

In 2008, Castro was appointed to the position of Professor of Creative Writing, University of Adelaide.



Most Referenced Works


  • Author writes in these languages: ENGLISH

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon Blindness and Rage : A Phantasmagoria : A Novel in Thirty-four Cantos Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2017 10868663 2017 single work novel

'Suffering from a fatal disease, Lucien Gracq travels to Paris to complete the epic poem he is writing and live out his last days. There he joins a secret writers’ society, Le club des fugitifs, that guarantees to publish the work of its members anonymously, thus relieving them of the burdens of life, and more importantly, the disappointments of authorship. In Paris, Gracq finds himself crossing paths with a parade of phantasms, illustrious writers from the previous century – masters of identity, connoisseurs of eroticism, theorists of game and rule, émigrés and Oulipeans. He flees from the deathly allure of the Fugitives, and towards the arms of his beloved – but it may be too late.

'Written in thirty-four cantos, Blindness & Rage recalls Virgil and Dante in its descent into the underworld of writing, and Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin with its mixture of wonder and melancholy. The short lines bring out the rhythmic qualities of Castro’s prose, enhance his playfulness and love of puns, his use of allusion and metaphor. Always an innovator, in Blindness & Rage he again throws down a challenge to the limits of the novel form.' (Publication summary)

2018 winner Prime Minister's Literary Awards Poetry
2018 winner Mascara Avant-garde Awards Fiction
y separately published work icon Street to Street Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2012 Z1901159 2012 single work novella Brian Castro takes up the novella, the form favoured by David Malouf and Helen Garner, in his new work of fiction, based on the life of the early twentieth-century Sydney poet Christopher Brennan. Brennan wrote some of the most powerful and ambitious poems in Australian poetry; he was a formidable literary figure who corresponded with Mallarmé and wrote on French poetry. He died an impoverished alcoholic. Castro's portrait of Brennan, seen through the eyes of his would-be biographer Brendan Costa, explores the fear of failure which haunts those who live by the imagination the fear of not achieving their own high ideals, and of disappointing their families and those who depend them. The story is told with the wit and energy that is the hallmark of Castro's writing. [Source: Trove]
2014 shortlisted Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature Award for Fiction
2013 longlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
y separately published work icon The Bath Fugues Artarmon : Giramondo Publishing , 2009 Z1590593 2009 selected work novella

'The Bath Fugues is a meditation on melancholy and art, in the form of three interwoven novellas, centred respectively on an ageing art forger; a Portuguese poet, opium addict and art collector; and a doctor, who has built an art gallery in tropical Queensland. These characters are tied by more than their art, each dealing with questions of deception and discovery, counterfeiting and rewriting, transmission and identity and each stretching the bonds of trust and friendship.' (Publisher's blurb)

2010 shortlisted Victorian Premier's Literary Awards The Vance Palmer Prize for Fiction
2010 shotlisted Queensland Premier's Literary Awards Best Fiction Book
2010 shortlisted Miles Franklin Literary Award
2010 shortlisted Festival Awards for Literature (SA) Award for Fiction
Last amended 12 Nov 2015 14:35:45
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