Brian Castro

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Brian Castro
BornBrian Albert Castro
1950 (age 73–74)
At sea, near Hong Kong
OccupationNovelist and essayist
Years active1973–
Notable worksShanghai Dancing

Brian Albert Castro (born 1950) is an Australian novelist and essayist.

Early life and education[edit]

Castro was born at sea, between Macau and Hong Kong, in 1950. His father was of Spanish, Portuguese, and English descent, and born in Shanghai. His mother was the daughter of a Chinese farmer and an English missionary. His first language was Cantonese Chinese, but his maternal grandmother taught him English, and he also learnt Macanese Portuguese (spoken in Macao) and French.[1]

He moved to Australia in 1961,[2] first attending a boarding school in Sydney,[1]at St Joseph's College, Hunters Hill and the University of Sydney, after which he worked in Australia, France and Hong Kong as a teacher and writer.[2]


He was Chair of Creative Writing (2008–2019) at the University of Adelaide and director of the J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice there.[3]

His first novel, Birds of Passage (1983), won The Australian/Vogel Literary Award. Double-Wolf (1991) won The Age Fiction Prize, the Vance Palmer Prize and the Innovative Writing Prize at the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards. After China (1992) again won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award. His sixth novel, Stepper (1997), was awarded the National Book Council Prize (Banjo Award) for Fiction. Shanghai Dancing was published by Giramondo in March 2003, winning the Victorian Premier's Literary Award and the NSW Premier's Award, and was named NSW Book of the Year. The Garden Book won the 2006 Queensland Premier's Literary Award, and The Bath Fugues was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, the South Australian Premier's Award, the Queensland Premier's Fiction Prize and the Victorian Premier's Literary Award.

In 2012 he published Street To Street, inspired by the life of the poet Christopher Brennan (Giramondo). Blindness and Rage won the Prime Minister's Award for Poetry in 2018.[1]

In 2014 he won the Patrick White Award for Literature for his contribution to Australian Literature.[4]

Awards and nominations[edit]


Novels and verse novels[edit]


  • (Monograph) Writing Asia: two lectures (1995) ISBN 9780731703364
  • Looking for Estrellita: Essays on Culture and Writing (1999) ISBN 9780702231155


  • Macau Days (with John Young) (2017)[5]


  1. ^ a b c "Brian Castro". AustLit. The University of Queensland. Retrieved 8 July 2023.
  2. ^ a b "Brian Castro - Official web site". Brian Castro. Archived from the original on 22 August 2006.
  3. ^ "Professor Brian Castro". The University of Adelaide. Retrieved 19 September 2019. "J. M. Coetzee Centre for Creative Practice". The University of Adelaide. Retrieved 19 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Patrick White Literary Award winner Brian Castro recalls his encounter with the grumpy neighbour". The Age. 7 November 2014.
  5. ^ "Macau Days". Archived from the original on 7 November 2017. Retrieved 29 October 2017.

External links[edit]