Craig Silvey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Craig Silvey
Born (1982-01-01) 1 January 1982 (age 37)
Notable work
Jasper Jones

Craig Silvey (born 1 January 1982)[1] is an Australian novelist. Silvey has twice been named one of the Best Young Australian Novelists by The Sydney Morning Herald, and has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His 2009 second novel was selected by the American Library Association as "Best Fiction for Young Adults" in their 2012 list,[2] and was made into the movie Jasper Jones in 2017.

Life and career[edit]

Silvey grew up in a town in the south-west of Western Australia called Dwellingup.[3] His father was an industrial arts teacher, and his mother was a teacher-librarian.[4] He has an older brother who, like Silvey himself, is keen on cricket.[4]

His elementary education was at the independent Pioneer Village School. Silvey describes the school as unusual in that it is located in Armadale's Pioneer Village which is an open-air museum " the style of an 1800s gold mining town with an old mine shaft".[4]

"It was certainly weird," says Silvey. "The girls had straw hats and big white socks, the boys had black cricket-style caps. Other than that it was standard private-school fare. The classes were small and the teachers great."[4]

Silvey's secondary education was at the independent Frederick Irwin Anglican School in Mandurah.[4]

Rather than going to university, Silvey took on menial labouring and cleaning jobs to support his writing.[5]

He published his first novel, Rhubarb, in 2004, after writing it when he was only 19 years old.[6] This novel would place Silvey on The Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists list in 2005.[7]

Silvey's second novel Jasper Jones was completed in early 2008 with the aid of an Australia Council's New Work Grant. The novel was described as conforming "to the conventions of Australian Gothic, which projects contemporary experience onto … dysfunctional families in small, remote towns.... where young protagonists encounter violence or death, and where outsiders are punished for their difference".[8] Jasper Jones is Silvey's most successful novel, selling well (half a million copies), and having won or been short listed for several prominent literary awards.[5] A film adaptation of the novel, based on a screenplay written by Silvey and Shaun Grant, was released in 2017.[9][10][11] The film was directed by Rachel Perkins and stars Toni Collette, Levi Miller, Aaron McGrath, and Angourie Rice.[12]

In 2010, Silvey was once again named one of The Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists of the year.[13]

Silvey says of his literary influences that "I've always been attracted to Southern Gothic fiction. There's something very warm and generous about those regional American writers like Twain and Lee and Capote, and it seemed to be a literary ilk that would lend itself well to the Australian condition."[14] Australian authors Silvey admires include Shaun Tan, Markus Zusak, Christos Tsiolkas, Tim Winton and Gail Jones who he says "write such distinct, brave and beautiful books that simply render me awestruck".[15]

He currently lives in Fremantle. Silvey is a musician and plays the electric ukulele in The Nancy Sikes band.[16][4]


  • 2004: Rhubarb (novel)
  • 2007: The World According to Warren (children's book)
  • 2009: Jasper Jones (novel)
  • 2012: The Amber Amulet (novella)
  • 2017: Jasper Jones (screenplay co-written with Shaun Grant)[17]
  • Date TBA: The Prospector (screenplay)[18]


Rhubarb was selected as the inaugural book for the "One Book" series of events at the 2005 Perth International Arts Festival, and was included in the Australian national "Books Alive" campaign.

Jasper Jones was shortlisted for the 2011 International Dublin Literary Award.[19] The novel was short listed for the Michael L. Printz Award in 2012 by the American Library Association.[20]


  1. ^ "Authors and Artists – Craig Silvey".
  2. ^ American Library Association "Best Fiction for Young Adults" (2012) [1]
  3. ^ "Power to Blow Your Mind," Marc McEvoy, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 October 2012. Accessed 18 October 2014. Archived 13 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f Williams, Gail (22 October 2009). "Big Book Club - Jasper Jones". News.Com.AU. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b Morris, Linda (17 February 2017). "Jasper Jones creator: 'I starved for 10 years to get to this point'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 6 November 2018.
  6. ^ "Five Ways With Words". Sydney Morning Herald.
  7. ^ Sydney Morning Herald Best Young Novelists of 2005, "Five ways with words," 28 May 2005. Accessed 18 October 2014. Archived 18 October 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Bradford, C. (2016). Prizing National and Transnational: Australian Texts in the Printz Award. In Prizing Children’s Literature (pp. 33-45). Routledge.”
  9. ^ ScreenDaily, Archived 7 October 2015 at WebCite
  10. ^ Screen NSW (the NSW government's key funding body for the NSW screen production industry), "Funding Approval Details", Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Rachel Perkins' 'Jasper Jones' is cast and ready to film in WA", SBS, Archived 7 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ “Toni Collette Joins the Cast of Jasper Jones” Archived 9 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine, Porchlight Films, archived 07 October 2015
  13. ^ McEvoy, Marc (26 May 2010). "Grace Under Fire". Sydney Morning Hearld. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  14. ^ Craig Silvey on writing Jasper Jones.
  15. ^ Purcell, John (April 12, 2010). "Craig Silvey Answers Ten Terrifying Questions". The Booktopian.
  16. ^ Khoo, Valerie (2011-10-15). "Craig Silvey: Award-winning novelist". Australian Writers' Centre. Archived from the original on 2018-08-04. Retrieved 2018-08-04.
  17. ^ "Jasper Jones (2017) Full Cast & Crew", IMDb, archived 21 January 2016
  18. ^ Windsor, Harry (13 February 2017). "Screen Australia backs new projects from Jocelyn Moorhouse, Leah Purcell". If Magazine (Australia). Retrieved 15 February 2017.
  19. ^ "William Trevor makes an Impac", Irish Times, 12 April 2011.
  20. ^ "Michael L. Printz Winners and Honor Books"] Archived 26 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of American Library Association (ALA).

External links[edit]