"But now I knew that we were not, and never really would be, out of the woods," he writes.

He went on to win the award again for Cloudstreet (1991), Dirt Music (2002) and Breath (2009). And while he would reject any such suggestion outright, it's not hard to detect in Winton the man the lasting influence of some of the best aspects of Christian belief and practice. ‘I don’t know if I’m an activist writer or just a writer who has an activist life on the side’ (The Guardian). A childhood spent amongst the Australian wildlife and in the water, the landscape’s dominant role in his writing bears inspired love of rural Australia. And while it's a perilous task to try to dig too deeply into an author's experience in order to try to explain their fiction, Winton's latest book The Boy Behind the Curtain offers, for such a private person, surprisingly forthcoming details of the shaping influences on his life and his work. When he was very young his father, a motorcycle cop, was nearly killed and left a shell of his former self in a collision with an errant driver.

We had both just finished reading Breath and she was more than a little annoyed at her erstwhile literary hero Winton, for what she perceived to be his overly dark and hopeless portrayal of Australian maleness. We would do well to listen. 75 talking about this. Credited as being a champion of the Australian environment and conservation, Winton was honoured to be recognised in the discovery, adding the naming of the fish to his many list of recognitions. I on the other hand felt that despite all that, Winton looked for, and was able to convey, redemptive elements in his characters that weren't obvious or triumphant or even especially impressive. Winton railed against a noxious theology present in his youth that considered this world to be "not our home" and therefore inconsequential.

In an age so dominated by a hard materialism Winton stands out as someone who believes the material aspects of life are bound up in the spiritual. "We were odd bods, and knew it. He has published 28 books for adults and children, and his work has been translated into 28 languages. "Without strife the cop and the novelist have nothing to work with," he writes with characteristic rueful irony. Later Winton found himself hurtling through a brick wall as an 18-year-old passenger of a mate's car and spent months recovering from major concussion and convulsions.

We’re thrilled that he is joining us for the City of Literature programme at Norfolk & Norwich Festival in May, for a conversation about his latest book The Boy Behind the Curtain with award-winning Anglo-Australian writer Evie Wyld. Violence, or its potential, is always trembling just below the surface in Winton's writing. He created The Tim Winton Young Writers Award to encourage children in Perth, Australia, to write short stories. But they weren't nothing. Sat, 3 October 2020 6:00AM. Your information is being handled in accordance with the ABC Privacy Collection Statement. He is truly uninterested in celebrity and in this narcissistic age such restraint is rare and immensely attractive. And there is something carnal and fleshly in so many of his characters and descriptions-the pungent smell of real life and death and the precarious dance between the two. I once had a fight with my wife over a Tim Winton book. He witnessed a group of working class people embedded in a community that gave them coherence and communal spirit enabling them to live lives of meaning and depth. Well-travelled, Winton spent his childhood on the outskirts of Perth before moving to Albany, Australia’s last whaling town. Sundays were an endurance test for Winton marked by afternoon visitation to relatives distant and close, followed by a further church service at night. ", The Wintons would gather local kids from the neighbourhood on Sunday mornings and load them into the family station wagon for their weekly dose of spiritual medicine. And strangely, he has been unlucky enough to be on the scene and obliged to provide help to victims of some horrific motor accidents. Which means questions of justice have an eternal ring to them. He came home "weak and doddery as a crone" and feeling like a ghost in his own body. He says this pious background was his introduction to politics, high language and music. Of his own parents he writes that their conversion was the making of them, raising their sights beyond "suburban self-interest" towards life and love. He has a younger brother, Andrew Winton, and a younger sister, Sharyn O'Neill …