Alan Marshall (Australian author)
|Born||2 May 1902|
|Died||21 January 1984|
|Resting place||Nillumbik (Diamond Creek) Cemetery|
|Notable works||I Can Jump Puddles (1955)|
Alan Marshall AM, (2 May 1902 – 21 January 1984) was an Australian writer, story teller, humanist and social documenter.
Marshall received the Australian Literature Society Short Story Award three times, the first in 1933. His best known book, I Can Jump Puddles (1955) is the first of a three-part autobiography. The other two books are This is the Grass (1962) and In Mine Own Heart (1963).
Life and work
Marshall was born in Noorat, Victoria. At six years old he contracted polio, which left him with a physical disability that grew worse as he grew older. From an early age, he resolved to be a writer, and in I Can Jump Puddles he demonstrated an almost total recall of his childhood in Noorat. The characters and places of his book are thinly disguised from real life: Mount Turalla is Mount Noorat, Lake Turalla is Lake Keilambete, the Curruthers are the Blacks, Mrs. Conlon is Mary Conlon of Dixie, Terang, and his best friend, Joe from the books, is Leo Carmody. Australian poet and contemporary, Hal Porter wrote in 1965 that Marshall was:
... the warmest and most centralized human being ... To walk with ease and nonchalance the straight, straight line between appearing tragic and appearing willfully brave is a feat so complex I should not like to have to rake in the dark for the super-bravery to accomplish it.
Marshall wrote numerous short stories, mainly set in the bush. He also wrote newspaper columns and magazine articles. He traveled widely in Australia and overseas. He also collected and published Indigenous Australian stories and legends.
He married Olive Dulcie Dixon in May 1941 and they had 2 daughters, Katherine and Jennifer. The couple divorced in 1957.
Marshall died in 1984. His remains are interred at Nillumbik (Diamond Creek) Cemetery, Victoria, Australia.
In 1981 the Australian Broadcasting Corporation produced a nine-part mini-series of Marshall's autobiographical stories. The actor, Adam Garnett, won the 1982 Logie Awards for Best Performance by a Juvenile, for his role as Alan Marshall in the series.
In 1985 the Shire of Eltham, where Marshall had lived for many years, established the annual Alan Marshall Short Story Competition for emergent writers. In 1937, he completed his first novel, How Beautiful Are Thy Feet, which remained unpublished until 1949.
- I Can Jump Puddles. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1955.
- This is the Grass. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1962. ISBN 1-743-31486-8.
- In Mine Own Heart. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire, 1963.
- Aboriginal Myths, with Sreten Bozic. Melbourne: Gold Star Publications, 1972. ISBN 0-7260-0113-9
- Pull Down The Blind, with illustrations by Noel Counihan. Melbourne: F. W. Cheshire & London: Wadley & Ginn, 1949
- These are my people. Melbourne: F.W. Cheshire, 1944
- Ourselves Writ Strange. Melbourne: F.W. Cheshire, 1948, later reprinted as These Were My Tribesmen
- How Beautiful Are Thy Feet. Melbourne: Chesterhill Press, 1949. ISBN 0-14-005241-0
- Fight for Life North Melbourne: Cassell Australia, 
- "Marshall, Alan".
- "Alan Marshall dies in nursing home". The Canberra Times (SUNDAY EDITION ed.). 22 January 1984. p. 1. Retrieved 26 September 2013 – via National Library of Australia.
- Marshall, Alan (1903), Papers of Alan Marshall, 1903–1982, retrieved 26 September 2013
- Porter (1965) p. 38
- "I can jump puddles (1981)". Australian Screen. Archived from the original on 19 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-02-13.
- "Alan Marshall Short Story Award – Background". Nillimbik Shire Council. Archived from the original on 27 October 2007. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- "2008 Alan Marshall Short Story Award". Nillimbik Shire Council. Archived from the original on 19 February 2008. Retrieved 13 February 2008.
- McLaren, John. "Marshall, Alan (1902–1984)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
- "William Alan Marshall". It's an Honour. Retrieved 31 May 2018.
- Marks, Harry (1976). I Can Jump Oceans: The World of Alan Marshall. Melbourne: Thomas Nelson (Australia). ISBN 0-17-001977-2.
- Miller, E. Morris & Frederick T. Macartney (1956) Australian Literature, Sydney, Angus & Robertson, pp.324-5.
- Morrison, John (1987), The Happy Warrior, Melbourne, Pascoe Publishing, ISBN 0-947087-08-7
- Porter, Hal (September 1965). "Melbourne in the Thirties". The London Magazine. 5 (6): 31–47.