AustLit logo
Nicholas Drayson Nicholas Drayson i(A69219 works by) (a.k.a. Nick Drayson)
Born: Established:
United Kingdom (UK),
Western Europe, Europe,
Gender: Male
Arrived in Australia: 1982
The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.


Nicholas Drayson was born in England and has lived in Australia since 1982. He spent several years studying at the UNSW for a BSc and MSc in zoology and PhD in 19th century Australian natural history writing. He has written about Australian natural history for many years, with regular columns in Good Weekend and the Australian Womens Weekly, and occasional pieces in Australian Geographic. In 1988 Nicholas published a collection of nature writing as Wildlife: Australia's flora and fauna gently observed. Confessing a Murder is his first novel. He wrote it while living in Kenya in 1998 and 1999. Nicholas lives in Canberra where he writes and paints houses. In 2002 he won a $25,000 grant from the Literature Board of the Australia Council to write a novel based on the life of British zoologist William Caldwell, who was the first to scientificlly prove that platypuses lay eggs.

Most Referenced Works

Awards for Works

y separately published work icon A Guide to the Birds of East Africa : A Novel London New York (City) : Viking , 2008 Z1519696 2008 single work novel 'For the past three years, Mr. Malik has been secretly in love with Rose Mbikwa, a woman who leads the weekly bird walks sponsored by the East African Ornithological Society. Just as Malik is getting up the nerve to invite Rose to the Nairobi Hunt Club Ball (the premier social occasion of the Kenyan calendar), Harry Khan, a nemesis from his school days, arrives in town.
Khan has also become enraptured with Rose and announces his intent to invite her to the Ball. Rather than force Rose to choose between the two men, a clever solution is proposed. Whoever can identify the most species of birds in one week’s time gets the privilege of asking Ms. Mbikwa to the ball.' (Publication summary)
2009 winner Australian Capital Territory Book of the Year Award
y separately published work icon Love and the Platypus Carlton North : Scribe , 2007 Z1365172 2007 single work novel historical fiction

'In 1883 young British naturalist William Caldwell arrives in Australia with a mission: to determine for the scientific record whether platypuses really are egg-laying mammals. But first he must travel overland to the Burnett River in Queensland, where he intends to set up camp. On his journey he is by turns hindered and assisted by a cast of characters, including a drunken bullocky and an inscrutable, poetical bushman. Once there, William commences his investigations and encounters the local Aboriginal people, enlisting their help and ultimately learning their tragic history. He also meets a young blind woman with many closely held secrets of her own.

'Love and the Platypus is a delightful, captivating novel that examines the obsessive nature of scientific enquiry and its environmental consequences, and the wonders of nature and of romantic love.' (Publisher's blurb)

2009 longlisted International Awards International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
2008 shortlisted Australian Capital Territory Book of the Year Award
Strictly for the Birds 2003 single work autobiography
— Appears in: Island , Winter-Spring no. 93-94 2003; (p. 56-66)
2003 winner Wildcare Tasmania Nature Writing Prize
Last amended 16 Feb 2015 15:38:04
Other mentions of "" in AustLit: