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Peter Cowan Peter Cowan i(A1873 works by) (a.k.a. Peter Walkinshaw Cowan; P. Cowan)
Born: Established: 4 Nov 1914 Perth, Western Australia, ; Died: Ceased: 6 Jun 2002 Guildford, Swan Valley area, Eastern Perth, Perth, Western Australia,
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

Peter Cowan spent much of the 1930s working in rural Western Australia as a labourer, and in 1938 attended the University of WA. In the Second World War, he served with the RAAF, and his interest in modernist literature led to an involvement with the Angry Penguins movement in Melbourne during the war years. Teaching English and Geography at Scotch College after the war, he became a senior tutor in English at the University of Western Australia in 1964, and later an Honorary Research Fellow. He was co-editor of Westerly for many years.

A prolific author of fiction and editor of numerous anthologies, Cowan also wrote in the genres of biography, essays and literary criticism. Exploring both suburban and more regional settings, his fiction demonstrates a thematic concern with isolation, and emotional and spiritual impoverishment in Australian society. Among his many other themes are the Australian landscape and environment, and the struggle to find a sense of "home".

His writing style has been described as poetic, experimental and modern and focussed on the inner processes of his characters rather than external drama. Literary influences and models include Hemingway, Chekov and Pinter.

Cowan was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 1987.

Most Referenced Works

Personal Awards

1992 winner Patrick White Award
Centenary Medal For service to literature through writing
Last amended 29 Oct 2015 10:57:04
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