Brian Castro


February 25, 2013 by Admin

Brian_Photo courtesy of A Willis_CroppedBrian Castro is one of Australia’s most imaginative novelists. He has published ten novels, as well as a body of essays on literary topics. His novels are dense and intellectually stimulating, but at the same time provocatively playful. Acknowledged for his prose style and brilliant use of language, his work has received wide critical acclaim and won many of Australia’s major literary prizes. His work has been translated into Chinese, French and German.

Born in Hong Kong in 1950, Brian Castro came to Australia in 1961 to undertake his secondary schooling, and has made his home here ever since. He began publishing short stories in 1970, and is now a full-time writer.

Brian Castro was joint winner of the Australian / Vogel Award in 1983 for his first novel, Birds of Passage.

In 1999 a collection of his essays was published as Looking for Estrellita.

Shanghai Dancing, published by Giramondo Press in 2003, won the Victorian Premier’s Award for Fiction in 2004 and the 2004 Christina Stead Fiction Prize, NSW Premier’s Awards, and was named NSW Premier’s Awards Book of the Year, 2004.

The Garden Book, published by Giramondo in 2005, was shortlisted for the 2006 Miles Franklin Literary Award and won the Queensland Premier’s Prize for Fiction. Brian’s most recent novel is Street to Street published by Giramondo in 2012.

Bernadette Brennan’s critical study Brian Castro’s Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language is published by Cambria Press.

The Chinese PostmanOn 7 November 2014, Brian Castro was awarded the 2014 Patrick White Literary Award. White created the award with the money he received as winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1973 to acknowledge writers who have made a significant contribution to Australian literature. White stipulated his prize should be presented on the Friday after the Melbourne Cup to turn attention from sport to literature. Accordingly, Brian Castro received the award in Sydney for his ‘outstanding contribution to Australian literature, his continued willingness to take imaginative risks and be “blackly playful”, and his evident potential to produce more significant work’. Other winners have included Christina Stead (1974), Gwen Harwood (1978), Randolph Stow (1979), Thea Astley (1989), Thomas Shapcott (2000) and Louis Nowra (2013).

Brian Castro was the winner of the Prime Minister’s Prize for Poetry in 2018 for Blindness And Rage.

His forthcoming novel The Chinese Postman will be published by Giramondo in 2024.

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