John Bryson (author)

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John Bryson
Born 25 December 1935[1]
Melbourne, Australia
Occupation Writer
Genre Biography, fiction, non-fiction

John Bryson AM (born 25 December 1935 in Melbourne, Australia) is an Australian author and former lawyer. He has authored works of fiction, biography and non-fiction.


Bryson was educated at the University of Melbourne, where he studied law.[2]


In 1971, after practising law for 10 years, first as a solicitor and later as a barrister, he became a chairman and managing director of a Melbourne public company. In 1978, he rejoined the Victorian Bar. He was a member of the Literature Board of the Australia Council, later becoming acting chairman.


Since 1973, Bryson's articles and stories have been published in Australian newspapers.

Bryson's best known work is his 1985 book Evil Angels which chronicles the story of Lindy Chamberlain's trial for murder, following the death of her baby daughter, Azaria. It was made into a film starring Meryl Streep in 1988. It was released under its original title, Evil Angels, in Australia and New Zealand and as A Cry in the Dark in other English-speaking territories, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and South Africa. It is also known by similar titles internationally.[3]

Bryson is also the author of a 1981 collection of short fiction, Whoring Around, and a collection of reportage, Backstage at the Revolution. His novel of the Spanish Civil War, To the Death, Amic, was published by Viking in 1994 and as Hasta la Muerte, Amigo by Editorial Milenio Spain in 2006. In 2004 he originated and co-produced Secrets of the Juryroom, a documentary for SBS-TV.


The Routine, one of the stories that was later included in Whoring Around, received the 1979 Patricia Hackett Award at the University of Western Australia. In 1985, Evil Angels was awarded winner of Penguin Books' first Allen Lane award, the Victorian Premier's Award for non-fiction, the British Crime Writers' Association Gold Dagger and the ANA Award. In 2000, a panel of journalism schools included him in "The 100 Australian Journalists of the Century".

He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2014 for services to Australian Literature, support for Indigenous youth, and community.



  • Whoring Around Penguin Books (1981)
  • Melodram fur eine Heldin aus Plast Spektrum, Berlin (1985)
  • Children Aren't Supposed to be Here at All in the Penguin Century of Australian Stories (2000)
  • To the Death, Amic Penguin (1994)
  • Hasta la Muerte, Amigo Editorial Milenio, Spain (2006)


  • Evil Angels Penguin (1985) and Hachette (2000) and in 12 languages
  • Backstage at the Revolution Penguin (1988)


  1. ^ AustLit
  2. ^ Bryson, J (1985), p.i.
  3. ^ "A Cry in the Dark (1988) - Release dates". Retrieved 2012-06-14. 

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