Nicholas Hasluck

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Nicholas Hasluck
Nicholas Hasluck at Mosman Library (cropped).jpg
Nicholas Hasluck at the Mosman Library, July 2011
Born Nicholas Paul Hasluck
(1942-10-17) 17 October 1942 (age 74)
Canberra, A.C.T.
Occupation Novelist, judge
Language English
Nationality Australian
Notable works The Bellarmine Jug, The Country Without Music
Notable awards The Age Book of the Year, Western Australian Premier's Book Awards

The Honourable Justice Nicholas Paul Hasluck AM (born 17 October 1942) is an Australian novelist, poet and short story writer, and judge. He lives in Perth, Western Australia with his wife, Sally-Anne, and has two children.

Early life[edit]

Nicholas Hasluck was born in Canberra. His father, Sir Paul Hasluck was a minister in the Federal Government under Robert Menzies, and was later appointed Governor-General of Australia. Nicholas went to school at Scotch College, Perth, and Canberra Grammar School, before studying law at the University of Western Australia (1963) and Oxford (1966). After completing his studies he worked briefly in Fleet Street in London as an editorial assistant before returning to Australia in 1967 to work as a barrister sometimes in partnership with Robert Holmes à Court.[1] He was deputy chair of the Australia Council from 1978 to 1982 and was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM).

Judicial career[edit]

On 1 May 2000, Hasluck was appointed as a judge on the Supreme Court of Western Australia, which is the highest ranking court in the Australian State of Western Australia.

Writing career[edit]

Hasluck started writing at school, producing poetry and essays for the school magazine and was first professionally published in 1964 with a poem appearing in Westerly literary magazine.[2]

Hasluck's books fall into two categories, which he describes as 'moral thriller genre and satire', with the thriller interesting him the most.[3] He cites the American writers William Faulkner, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer and Gore Vidal as being his main literary influences.[4]

In 2006, Hasluck became Chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize.




  • Quarantine (1978) [5]
  • The Blue Guitar (1980)
  • The Hand That Feeds You (1982)
  • The Bellarmine Jug (1984)
  • Truant State (1987)
  • The Country Without Music (1990)
  • The Blosseville File (1992)
  • A Grain of Truth (1994)
  • Our Man K (1999)
  • Dismissal (2011) [6]

Short story collections[edit]

  • The Hat on the Letter 'O' and Other Stories (1978)
  • The Hat on the Letter 'O' and Other Stories (1990), revised edition


  • Anchor and Other Dreams (1976)
  • On the Edge (1981)


  • Chinese Journey (1985) (with Christopher Koch)
  • Collage: Recollections and Images of the University of Western Australia (1987), essays
  • Offcuts From a Legal Literary Life (1993), essays [7]
  • The Legal Labyrinth (2003)
  • Somewhere in the Atlas: The Road to Khe Sanh and Other Travel Pieces (2007) [8]
  • Legal Limits (2013)


  • "Keating takes the Comets on a learning curve". Quadrant. 39 (7-8): 12–15. Jul–Aug 1995. 


  1. ^ McIlwraith, John (2007). "Holmes à Court, Michael Robert Hamilton (1937 - 1990)". Australian Dictionary of Biography Online Edition. Melbourne University Publishing, The Australian National University. Retrieved 2010-12-25. 
  2. ^ Baker (1986) p. 163
  3. ^ Baker (1986) p. 162
  4. ^ Baker (1986) p. 177
  5. ^ Hasluck, Nicholas (1978), Quarantine, The Macmillan Co. of Australia, ISBN 978-0-333-23011-4 
  6. ^ Hasluck, Nicholas; Hasluck, Nicholas, 1942- (2011), Dismissal, Fourth Estate, ISBN 978-0-7322-9303-1 
  7. ^ Hasluck, Nicholas (1993), Offcuts : from a legal literary life, University of Western Australia Press, ISBN 978-1-875560-17-2 
  8. ^ Hasluck, Nicholas (2007), Somewhere in the atlas : the road to Khe Sanh and other travel pieces, Freshwater Bay Press, ISBN 978-1-74008-440-6 


  • Baker, Candida (1986) Yacker: Australian writers talk about their work, Sydney, Picador

See also[edit]