My Brother Jack
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|Cover artist||Sydney Nolan|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Followed by||Clean Straw for Nothing|
My Brother Jack is a classic Australian novel by writer George Johnston. It is part of a trilogy centring on the character of David Meredith. The other books in the trilogy are Clean Straw for Nothing and A Cartload of Clay. It is still available through Australian booksellers, unlike the other two novels although they are probably in most Australian libraries. Its text is commonly studied for many English Literature subjects in Australia.
This semi-autobiographical novel follows the narrator, David Meredith, through his childhood and adolescence in interwar Melbourne through to adulthood and his journalism career during World War II. The novel constantly contrasts him with his older and more "typically Australian," brother, Jack.
The book chronicles the life of an average Australian bloke in interwar Australian society. Jack Meredith is a liked and tough man, uneducated but hardworking and decent, who grew up suffering during the Great Depression. His younger brother has a successful and prominent career as journalist, although the narrator's personal life is empty, unlike that of his more physical, less intellectual, more "Aussie" brother Jack.
Jack is a post-colonial archetype of Australian men: a type that has largely disappeared from reality with the modernisation of Australia however the image lingers and continues to influence the national psyche. The novel describes the "Aussie bloke" - physical, unintellectual - and his place in interwar Australian history with affection and a certain respect.
The book was made into an Australian TV series (2001).
Awards and nominations
It won the Miles Franklin Award in 1964.
Film, TV or theatrical adaptations
It was adapted again in 2001 by John Alsop and Sue Smith. The cast included William McInnes, Angie Milliken, Claudia Karvan and Jack Thompson, with Simon Lyndon, Matt Day as the brothers and Ross Ward from Ballarat.
|Awards and achievements|
Careful, He Might Hear You
|Miles Franklin Award recipient
The Slow Natives
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