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y separately published work icon Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow single work   biography  
Issue Details: First known date: 2016... 2016 Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Randolph Stow was one of the great Australian writers of his generation. His novel To the Islands – written in his early twenties after living on a remote Aboriginal mission – won the Miles Franklin Award for 1958. In later life, after publishing seven remarkable novels and several collections of poetry, Stow’s literary output slowed. This biography examines the productive period as well as his long periods of publishing silence.

'In Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, Suzanne Falkiner unravels the reasons behind Randolph Stow’s quiet retreat from Australia and the wider literary world. Meticulously researched, insightful and at times deeply moving, Falkiner’s biography pieces together an intriguing story from Stow’s personal letters, diaries, and interviews with the people who knew him best. And many of her tales – from Stow’s beginnings in idyllic rural Australia, to his critical turning point in Papua New Guinea, and his final years in Essex, England – provide us with keys to unlock the meaning of Stow’s rich and introspective works.' (Publication summary)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crawley, Inner Perth, Perth, Western Australia,: UWA Publishing , 2016 .
      image of person or book cover 4477380507235333460.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: 890p.
      Note/s:
      • Published February 2016
      ISBN: 9781742586601

Works about this Work

Randolph Stow's 'Hungry Waiting Country' Caitlin Maling , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Feeding the Ghost : 1 : Criticism on Contemporary Australian Poetry 2018; (p. 190-213)

'Many decades after he had left Western Australia and settled in Suffolk, Randolph Stow would continue to be asked if he considered himself an Australian writer. In interviews, Stow would attempt to distance himself from ideas of roots, denying the label "Australian^ for his preferred "Anglo-Australian" ("A Conversation" 71). Similarly, Stow frames his interest in Western Australia as purely related to childhood, the town of Geraldton being the place where he just happened to grow up ("Mostly Private Letters" 354). Since Stow's death in 2010 interest in locating him on a cultural map of Australia has continued. With the re-release of his major fiction works through the Text Publishing Classics series in 2015 and the publication of Suzanne Falkiner's 2016 biography Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, Stow is enjoying a resurgence, one that continues to try to locate him as an Australian or Western Australian writer. Yet as in his lifetime, Stow's poetry remains relatively critically neglected despite the most comprehensive selection of his poetry appearing in 2013 accompanied by an extensive introductory essay by John Kinsella. The Kinsella essay demonstrates how consideration of Australianness in Stow's poetry and prose almost always relates to consideration of landscape. Part of the confusion around assigning Stow a definitive designation as a Western Australian place writer must be that Stow does not write about place in any one way...' (Introduction)

Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow, by Suzanne Falkiner John Barnes , 2018 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , February vol. 33 no. 1 2018;

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography

'Most biographers like to think that what they have written would have been acceptable to the person they are writing about. Suzanne Falkiner has no such illusions about this work. In a postscript to her 890-page biography of Randolph Stow she remarks: ‘No doubt Stow would not have approved of this book, and more especially because it contains a large amount of “chatter about Harriet”’ (721). The phrase, ‘chatter about Harriet’ (originally from a review of a Shelley biography that gave considerable attention to Harriet, the first wife), had been used by Stow in a 1976 interview, when he had been asked whether he thought that ‘knowing something of the life and personality of an artist’ could help readers to understand his work. In reply he agreed on the need ‘to know a great deal – well, a certain amount, anyway – about an author’s life, and not only what he chooses to have known’. By way of illustration, he pointed to Conrad’s attempted suicide, which had only recently become known, as ‘obviously something that one needs to know’. At the same time, he hoped ‘this sort of thing could be kept to a minimum’, as ‘too much chatter about Harriet . . . distracts attention from the work’.' (Introduction)

Suzanne Falkiner. Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow John Burbidge , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: World Literature Today , January - February vol. 91 no. 1 2017; (p. 93-94)
Phillip Hall Reviews Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Phillip Hall , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Cordite Poetry Review , April no. 53.1 2016;

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
'A Huge Subterranean World' : Unusual Consideration from a Biographer for a Subject's Privacy Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 379 2016; (p. 13-14)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
'Late in 1998, the Times Literary Supplement, as was its wont, sent Randolph 'Mick' Stow a book for review. It was Xavier Herbert: A Biography (1998) by Francis de Groen, and Stow accepted the commission with enthusiasm. 'What a ghastly, embarrassing old pillock,' he wrote to his lifelong friend Bill Grono. 'Well, you'll soon read my opinion of him.' Stow's review tells a personal story of an encounter with Herbert at a 1963 supper party in Perth, and concludes that he liked Herbert even less by the end of the book than he did when he began it.' (13)
Famed Writer an 'Outsider' Who Turned His Back on Australia Ron Banks , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 27 February 2016; (p. 84-85)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
'The world is divided into two types of people, according to Randolph Stow's biographer, writes Ron Banks.'
A Very Private Man Susan Johnson , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 27 February 2016; (p. 18)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
A Book of Revelations Bernadette Brennan , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Sydney Morning Herald , 26 March 2016; (p. 26) The Age , 26 March 2016; (p. 26)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography

'Bernadette Brennan).With the publication of Suzanne Falkiner's Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, readers have the opportunity to learn a great deal about one of the greatest Australian writers of the 20th century. Coming in at just under 900 pages, including more than 100 pages of endnotes, Falkiner's biography is a massive scholarly work. After years of exhaustive archival research, international travel and extensive interviews, Falkiner crafts a credible and moving portrait of a brilliant, sensitive, complex man. This biography is a significant contribution to Australian literary studies...' (Bernadette Brennan).

Divided Life and Works Geordie Williamson , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 2-3 April 2016; (p. 16)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
'A Huge Subterranean World' : Unusual Consideration from a Biographer for a Subject's Privacy Kerryn Goldsworthy , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , March no. 379 2016; (p. 13-14)

— Review of Mick : A Life of Randolph Stow Suzanne Falkiner , 2016 single work biography
'Late in 1998, the Times Literary Supplement, as was its wont, sent Randolph 'Mick' Stow a book for review. It was Xavier Herbert: A Biography (1998) by Francis de Groen, and Stow accepted the commission with enthusiasm. 'What a ghastly, embarrassing old pillock,' he wrote to his lifelong friend Bill Grono. 'Well, you'll soon read my opinion of him.' Stow's review tells a personal story of an encounter with Herbert at a 1963 supper party in Perth, and concludes that he liked Herbert even less by the end of the book than he did when he began it.' (13)
Suzanne Falkiner. Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow John Burbidge , 2017 single work criticism
— Appears in: World Literature Today , January - February vol. 91 no. 1 2017; (p. 93-94)
Randolph Stow's 'Hungry Waiting Country' Caitlin Maling , 2018 single work criticism
— Appears in: Feeding the Ghost : 1 : Criticism on Contemporary Australian Poetry 2018; (p. 190-213)

'Many decades after he had left Western Australia and settled in Suffolk, Randolph Stow would continue to be asked if he considered himself an Australian writer. In interviews, Stow would attempt to distance himself from ideas of roots, denying the label "Australian^ for his preferred "Anglo-Australian" ("A Conversation" 71). Similarly, Stow frames his interest in Western Australia as purely related to childhood, the town of Geraldton being the place where he just happened to grow up ("Mostly Private Letters" 354). Since Stow's death in 2010 interest in locating him on a cultural map of Australia has continued. With the re-release of his major fiction works through the Text Publishing Classics series in 2015 and the publication of Suzanne Falkiner's 2016 biography Mick: A Life of Randolph Stow, Stow is enjoying a resurgence, one that continues to try to locate him as an Australian or Western Australian writer. Yet as in his lifetime, Stow's poetry remains relatively critically neglected despite the most comprehensive selection of his poetry appearing in 2013 accompanied by an extensive introductory essay by John Kinsella. The Kinsella essay demonstrates how consideration of Australianness in Stow's poetry and prose almost always relates to consideration of landscape. Part of the confusion around assigning Stow a definitive designation as a Western Australian place writer must be that Stow does not write about place in any one way...' (Introduction)

Last amended 10 May 2018 15:05:12
Subjects:
  • c
    Australia,
    c
  • c
    Papua New Guinea,
    c
    Pacific Region,
  • Essex,
    c
    England,
    c
    c
    United Kingdom (UK),
    c
    Western Europe, Europe,
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