Alex Miller (writer)

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Alex Miller
Alex Miller at Vassar College 2013.jpg
Alex Miller at Vassar College, New York, 2013
Born Alexander McPhee Miller
(1936-12-27) 27 December 1936 (age 77)
London, England
Occupation Novelist
Nationality Australian
Period 1975–present
Genres Literary fiction
Notable work(s) The Ancestor Game,
Journey to the Stone Country
Notable award(s) The Miles Franklin Award
1993, 2003

Alexander McPhee "Alex" Miller (born 27 December 1936) is an award-winning Australian novelist.[1] Miller is twice winner of The Miles Franklin Award, in 1993 for The Ancestor Game and in 2003 for Journey to the Stone Country.[2] He won the overall award for the Commonwealth Writer's Prize for The Ancestor Game in 1993. He is twice winner of the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Conditions of Faith in 2001 and for Lovesong in 2011. In recognition of his impressive body of work and in particular for his novel Autumn Laing he was awarded the Melbourne Prize for Literature in 2012.[3]

Life[edit]

Alex Miller was born in London to a Scottish father and Irish mother.[1] After working as a farm labourer in Somerset he migrated alone to Australia at the age of 16.[4] He worked as a ringer in Queensland and as a horse breaker in New Zealand before studying at night school to gain university entrance.[5] Miller graduated from the University of Melbourne in English and History in 1965.[1] In 1975 he published his first short story, 'Comrade Pawel' in Meanjin Quarterly.[6] In 1980 he was a co-founder of the Anthill Theatre and a founding member of the Melbourne Writers' Theatre.[7] Miller taught writing courses at Holmesglen TAFE and La Trobe University between 1986 and 1997.[1] Miller has written full-time since 1998. In this time he has written seven of his eleven published novels and his work has received wide critical acclaim.[1]

Alex Miller lives in country Victoria with his wife Stephanie.[1]

Writing[edit]

Miller's first novel, Watching the Climbers on the Mountain, was published in 1988 and republished by Allen & Unwin in 2012.[8] Major national and international recognition came with the publication of The Ancestor Game, his third novel and the winner of both the Miles Franklin Award and overall winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize in 1993. Since then Miller has published on average a major novel every two years, his tenth being Autumn Laing published in 2011.[9] The Melbourne critic Peter Craven, writing in The Australian on 14 July 2012, describes Autumn Laing as “superb” and says of it, “it is the novel that is liable to burn brightest in the whole of his oeuvre.” Professor Brenda Walker suggests that 'Alex Miller may be Australia's greatest living writer'.[10]

Robert Dixon, Professor of Australian Literature at Sydney University writes that Miller's 'novels are by and large accessible to the general reading public yet manifestly of high literary seriousness - substantial, technically masterly and assured, intricately interconnected, and of great imaginative, intellectual and ethical weight'. The Novels of Alex Miller,[11] edited and with an introduction by Robert Dixon was published in 2012 following a two day Symposium at the University of Sydney in 2011 as a major critical study devoted to Miller’s works.[12]

Miller's novel, 'Autumn Laing', was inspired by his lifelong interest in art and is loosely based on the relationship between Sidney Nolan and Sunday Reed.[13]

Coal Creek, published in 2013 by Allen & Unwin, is Miller's most recent novel.[14]

Awards[edit]

  • 1990 Winner, the Braille Book of the Year Award for The Tivington Nott
  • 1993 Winner, the Miles Franklin Award for The Ancestor Game
  • 1993 Winner, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Overall Best Book Award for The Ancestor Game
  • 1996 Shortlisted, the Miles Franklin award for The Sitters
  • 2001 Shortlisted, the Miles Franklin award for Conditions of Faith,
  • 2001 Winner, the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction for Conditions of Faith
  • 2003 Winner, the Miles Franklin Award for Journey to the Stone Country
  • 2005 Winner, State Library of Tasmania's People's Choice Award for Journey to the Stone Country
  • 2005 Shortlisted, the Tasmania Pacific Fiction Prize for Journey to the Stone Country
  • 2006 Longlisted, the Miles Franklin award for Prochownik's Dream
  • 2008 Shortlisted, the Miles Franklin award for Landscape of Farewell
  • 2008 Winner, the Manning Clark House National Cultural Award for an outstanding contribution to the quality of Australian cultural life for Landscape of Farewell
  • 2008 Winner, the Weishanhu Award for Best Foreign Novel in the 21st Century from the People's Literature Publishing House in China for Landscape of Farewell
  • 2010 Shortlisted, the Miles Franklin award for Lovesong
  • 2010 Winner, The Age Book of the Year award for Lovesong
  • 2010 Winner, The Age Fiction Prize for Lovesong
  • 2010 Shortlisted, the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award[15] for Fiction for Lovesong
  • 2011 Winner, the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards Christina Stead Prize for Fiction for Lovesong
  • 2011 Winner, the New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, People's Choice Award for Lovesong
  • 2012 Shortlisted, the Australian Prime Minister's Literary Award[15] for Autumn Laing
  • 2012 Longlisted, the Miles Franklin award for Autumn Laing
  • 2012 Winner, the Melbourne Prize for Literature
  • 2014 Winner, the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Coal Creek[16]

Miller is a recipient of the Centenary Medal,[17] and in 2008 the Manning Clark Medal for "An outstanding contribution to Australian cultural life."[18] Miller is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities.[19]

Bibliography[edit]

Novels[edit]

Major short essays and short stories[edit]

Alex Miller:

  • ‘Comrade Pawel’, 1975, Meanjin Quarterly, No 1, Vol 34.
  • ‘How to Kill Wild Horses’, 1976, Quadrant, No 103, Vol XX, No 2.
  • ‘The Wine Merchant of Aarhus’, 1993, Kunapipi, Vol XV, No 3.
  • ‘Inside Buckingham Palace’, 1994, Brick, No 48.
  • ‘Impressions of China’, 1996, Meridian, Vol 15, No 1.
  • ‘The Last Sister of Charity’, 2000, The Age, 18 Nov.
  • ‘Chasing My Tale, 2003, Kunapipi, Vol XV, No 3.
  • ‘The Black Mirror’, 2006, Art & Australia, Vol 43, No 3.
  • ‘Written in Our Hearts, 2006, Thinking about Truth in Fiction and History’, The Australian, 16–17 Dec.
  • ‘Caught Behind My Imagination’, 2006, The Age, Summer Age, Friday 29 Dec.
  • ‘Salem Lodge,’ 2008, Meanjin Quarterly, Vol 67, No 3.
  • ‘The Artist to Himself’, 2008, Rick Amor: A Single Mind, Heide Museum of Modern Art, Australia.
  • ‘John Masefield’s Attic’, 2009, Closing Address to The Flight of the Mind, Conference National Library of Australia, 25 Oct.
  • ‘The End’, 2009, Cotter, J and Williams M, (Eds), Readings and Writings, Forty Years in Books, Readings, Australia.
  • 'The Circle of His Art', 2011, Skovron, A, Gaita, R, and Miller, A, Singing for All He's Worth, Essays in Honour of Jacob G Rosenberg, Picador, Australia.[20]
  • ‘Ringroad’, Sonya Hartnett, Ed, 2012, The Best Australian Short Stories, Black Inc.
  • 'Asylum: A Secure Place of Refuge', 2013, Rosie Scott and Tom Keneally, Eds, A Country Too Far, Viking, Australia.

Drama[edit]

  • Kitty Howard (1978), Melbourne Theatre Company
  • Exiles (1981), Anthill Theatre

Reviews[edit]

  • Morag Fraser, 2011, 'A Space of Its Own Creation, Alex Miller's Indispensable New Novel', "Australian Book Review", [6], accessed 1 July 2013.
  • Jem Poster, 2010, 'Lovesong by Alex Miller', "The Guardian", [7], accessed 1 July 2013.
  • Perry Middlemiss, 2010, 'Combined Reviews: Lovesong by Alex Miller, "Matilda" [8], accessed 1 July 2013.
  • Koval, Romona (19 November 2007). "Transcript of Radio Interview: Alex Miller's Landscape of Farewell". The Book Show, ABC Radio National. 
  • Geordie Williamson, 'Lovesong', 2009, The Monthly, [9], accessed November 2012.
  • Reviews of Alex Miller's novels, [10] accessed 1 July 2013.
  • Geordie Williamson, 'Alex Miller's 'Coal Creek', September 2003, "The Monthly", [11], accessed November 2013.
  • Brian Matthews, 'Hanging on the Cross, Alex Miller's Journey of the Imagination', October 2013, "Australian Book Review", [12], accessed November 2013.

Interviews[edit]

  • Jonathan Pearlman, 'Australia's treatment of refugees is 'cruel and mean-spirited', The Telegraph, 26 December 2013,[13], accessed January 2014.
  • Oliver Milman, 'Novelist Alex Miller attacks Australia's 'cruel and inhumane' refugee treatment', The Guardian, 27 December 2013, [14], accessed January 2014.
  • Jane Sullivan, 'Interview: Alex Miller', The Sydney Morning Herald, October 5, 2013, [15], accessed January 2014.

Critical Works on Alex Miller[edit]

  • Robert Dixon, Ed, 2012, The Novels of Alex Miller, An Introduction, Allen & Unwin, Sydney. [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Dixon, R, (Ed), 2012, 'The Novels of Alex Miller, An Introduction', Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
  2. ^ http://www.milesfranklin.com.au/2012/bio_alexm
  3. ^ http://melbourneprizetrust.org/prize-for-literature/
  4. ^ Miller, A, 'Once Upon A Life', The Observer, Magazine, 26 Sept, 2010, pp 12-13
  5. ^ Miller, A, On Writing 'Landscape of Farewell'.
  6. ^ http://meanjin.com.au/editions/volume-69-number-4-2010
  7. ^ "Reference Number: MS 318 Guide to the Papers of Alex Miller". Academy Library, UNSW@ADFA. Archived from the original on 20 November 2008. Retrieved 5 December 2008. 
  8. ^ Allen and Unwin [1]. Retrieved November 2012
  9. ^ http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781743311134
  10. ^ Walker, Brenda, 2012 in Dixon, Robert, (Ed), 2012, 'The Novels of Alex Miller, An Introduction', Allen & Unwin, Sydney, p 42.
  11. ^ Allen and Unwin [2]. Retrieved 30 November 2012
  12. ^ Dixon, Robert, 2011, University of Sydney [3]
  13. ^ Stephens, Andrew (24 September 2011). "Leave it to Autumn", The Age. Retrieved 30 November 2012.
  14. ^ http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=651&book=9781743316986
  15. ^ a b http://arts.gov.au/shortlists
  16. ^ Jason Steger (January 28, 2014). "Liquid Nitrogen poet Jennifer Maiden wins Australia's richest literature prize". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved January 28, 2014. 
  17. ^ http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/awards/medals/centenary_medal.cfm#how
  18. ^ The Manning Clark Prize [4]. Accessed November 2012.
  19. ^ Australian Academy of the Humanities [5]. Accessed November 2012
  20. ^ Panmacmillan.com.au

External links[edit]