Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow
Randolph Stow was one of the great Australian writers of his generation. His novel To the Islands – written in his early twenties after living on a remote Aboriginal mission – won the Miles Franklin Award for 1958. In later life, after publishing seven remarkable novels and several collections of poetry, Stow’s literary output slowed. This biography examines the productive period as well as his long periods of publishing silence.
In Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, Suzanne Falkiner unravels the reasons behind Randolph Stow’s quiet retreat from Australia and the wider literary world. Meticulously researched, insightful and at times deeply moving, Falkiner’s biography pieces together an intriguing story from Stow’s personal letters, diaries, and interviews with the people who knew him best. And many of her tales – from Stow’s beginnings in idyllic rural Australia, to his critical turning point in Papua New Guinea, and his final years in Essex, England – provide us with keys to unlock the meaning of Stow’s rich and introspective works.
Shortlisted - 2018 Magarey Medal for Biography
Shortlisted - 2017 National Biography Award
Shortlisted - 2017 Prime Minister's Literary Awards (Non-fiction)
Praise for Mick:
The overriding virtue of this book is Falkiner’s steady trust in the intelligence of her readers. She spells very little out, presenting us instead with this carefully curated wealth of textual evidence. KERRYN GOLDSWORTHY, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
Finally we have some sense of the wounds that shaped and animated Stow's poetry and fiction. GEORDIE WILLIAMSON, THE AUSTRALIAN
Falkiner recovers Stow from the archive, including his own wonderful correspondence, and travels in his footsteps from Geraldton to Harwich and all the way to the Trobriand Islands. She is good on settings, knowing how someone can be out of place where they are most at home, and writes about his loyalties and antipathies with empathy and a dry wit that Stow would surely have appreciated. NICHOLAS JOSE, AUSTRALIAN BOOK REVIEW
Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow is an engrossing account of a gifted but not easily understood personality. JOHN BARNES, AUSTRALIAN LITERARY STUDIES