Educated in Switzerland, London and Oxford, Rothwell comes from a long line of Australian journalists and has worked on newspapers in Sydney, Singapore, London and New York. He spent time in the 80s and 90s as a foreign correspondent for the Australian in the Americas, the Pacific and Western and Eastern Europe, where he covered the revolutionary upheavals. When Rothwell returned to Australia in 1996, he based himself in Darwin, and spent much time in outback towns such as Mount Isa, Katherine and Alice Springs. He has also been the Australian's Middle East correspondent.
'Quicksilver begins on a quiet day in contemplation of a lizard deep in the heart of the outback but quickly moves to the Russia of Tolstoy and Gorky, and on to other lands and times, bringing into play universal questions about the essential nature of the human condition.'
'Rothwell’s chief subject is always the inland: the mystic Kurangara cult that flourished in the Kimberley; the story of the Western Desert artists, their works and their eventual fate; the tracks across the wilderness of Colonel Warburton and George Grey; the bush dreams and intuitions of D. H. Lawrence and the landscape word-portraits by the great biographer of nature Eric Rolls.'
'In Quicksilver Rothwell masterfully takes us in search of the sacred through place and time, in an enchanting reverie of calm wondering.' (Source: Text Publishing website)
Belomor2013single work prose travel 'A spellbinding meditation on art and life that travels from Eastern Europe to Northern Australia, from World War II to the present.
Elegiac and seductive, Belomor is the frontier where truth and invention meet—where fragments from distant lives intermingle, and cohere.
A man seeks out the father figure who shaped his picture of the past. A painter seeks redemption after the disasters of his years in northern Australia. A student of history travels into the depths of religion, the better to escape the demons in his mind. A filmmaker seeks out freedom and open space, and looks into the murk and sediment of herself.
Four chapters: four journeys through life, separate, yet interwoven as the narrative unfolds.
In this entrancing new book from one of our most original writers, we meet European dissidents from the age of postwar communism, artists in remote Australia, snake hunters, opal miners and desert magic healers. Belomor is a meditation on time, and loss: on how the most bitter recollections bring happiness, and the meaning of a secret rests in the thoughts surrounding it.' (Publisher's blurb)
'This is the story of a quest - a journey down the red highway.
'On returning from a war zone, Nicolas Rothwell begins to explore the deserts and towns, sleepy coastline and hidden worlds of Australia's north. As he travels, his journey gathers momentum and finds a shape. He has unforgettable, even mystical encounters: with a nun, an explorer, a collector and a hunter. It becomes a quest - for knowledge and a sense of home - that builds to a stunning culmination.
'... The Red Highway ... explores death, friendship, travel and art, and evokes a unique and mesmerising part of the country.' (Publisher's blurb)